Number of jobseekers fell on South Tyneside last month - but is still up year-on-year

The number of people looking for work in South Tyneside fell last month - but it is still up over the last year.

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 4:14 pm
JobCentre Plus

There were 3,910 people claiming unemployment benefits - Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit - in the borough last month, a fall of 105 from May but a rise of 160 year-on-year.

“There are one or two things that are going on at the moment,” said Steve McCall, of JobCentre Plus.

“We have got traineeships leading to a guaranteed interview with BT and also warehousing apprenticeships with Makro that are being run by Learning Concepts in South Tyneside.”

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Jobseekers had to be ready to travel outside the borough to look for work if necessary, said Steve.

“There are bits and pieces around the South Tyneside area but maybe it is just outside, in Sunderland, Gateshead and Newcastle, that people need to look for retail and maybe hospitality jobs.”

Across the North East, the number of people in employment has hit a record high.

There were 1,205,000 people in work in the region in the three months to the end of May, a rise of 36,000 over the year.

The number of people classed as unemployed was 96,000, down 2,000 over the last 12 months, and 386,000 people were classed as economically inactive, a drop of 37,000.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “There’s great news in the North East where the employment rate is at a record high of 70.9% with over 1.2 million people in work.

“Clearly, good progress has been made, and I’m encouraged to take forward the agenda to create an even more resilient labour market.”

North East Chamber of Commerce Policy Adviser Paul Carbert said: “These figures continue recent positive trends, with a modest increase in employment and a decrease in unemployment.

“Although the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, we have seen a welcome fall in the economic inactivity rate.

“We must now ensure young people leaving the education system, and older workers returning to the labour market, are equipped with the skills required.”

Nationally, there was another fall in unemployment and the employment rate reached a record high of 74.4%, with 31.7 million people in work in the three months to May.

A total of 1.65 million people were classed as unemployed, a fall of 54,000 over the quarter and 201,000 compared with a year ago, giving a jobless rate of 4.9%.

But the claimant count, including those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, increased by 400 last month to 759,100, the fourth consecutive monthly rise, and job vacancies were 10,000 down.