The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in South Tyneside fell last month – but the borough still has one of the highest jobless rates in the country.
There were 4,505 people claimants in the borough in April, a drop of 20 on March.
We remain committed to working with our partners to deliver schemes that aim to get people back into work across the Borough and encourage private sector growth.John Anglin
That is the equivalent of a claimant rate of 4.8%, the eighth highest in the country.
Coun John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “This is a cause for concern, but despite unprecedented cuts from central Government, as a council we continue to do all we can to create jobs and opportunities for local people.
“We remain committed to working with our partners to deliver schemes that aim to get people back into work across the borough and encourage private-sector growth.
“Our work to bring forward the International Advanced Manufacturing Park with Sunderland Council on land north of Nissan, which will create more than 7,000 high-quality jobs for local people, is a measure of our success.”
Steve McCall, from JobCentre Plus, said the figure had been affected by the continued introduction of Universal Credit in the borough, which sees more people included in the figures than the previous Jobseeker’s Allowance.
“We have had Universal Credit previously, but the full service is just rolling out in South Tyneside,” he said.
“We are also seeing an increase in the number of people who are becoming economically active. If someone was previously classed as economically inactive and is now looking for work, that would see a rise. There are a lot of opportunities out there ate the moment – BT is recruiting in South Shields.
“They offer people under 24 work experience, then we put them through a training course, after which they are guaranteed an interview.
“Careline Care Homes are recruiting heavily in Shields and we also have vacancies in warehousing and logistics.”
Employment in the North East stands at 1,233,000 or 73.6% – an increase of 14,000 over the quarter and 14,000 over the year.
This compares to a rate of 75.6% nationally.
North East unemployment stands at 63,000 or 4.9% – a fall of 6,000 over the quarter and 13,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 4.2% nationally.
North East Chamber of Commerce policy adviser Paul Carbert said: “Our employment rate is now at a record high which is a great testament to the hard work and determination of businesses. It is also excellent news the gap between the North East and the national average has been closing.”