Slight rise in South Tyneside jobless claimant count

The latest employment figures have been released
The latest employment figures have been released

The number of people looking for work in South Tyneside rose slightly last month.

There were 4,150 people claiming Out of Work Benefits in the borough last month, up by 90 on the November figure, but an increase of just 35 over the year.

Victoria Sutherland

Victoria Sutherland

Across the North East, employment stands at 1,229,000 or 72.2% - an increase of 11,000 over the quarter and 34,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 75.3% nationally.

North East unemployment is 68,000 or 5.2% - a fall of 7,000 over the quarter and 20,000 over the year - compared to a rate of 4.3% nationally.

The claimant count stands at 54,900 or 4.4% in the North East. The national claimant count rate is 2.4%.

Paul Carbert, policy adviser with North East England Chamber of Commerce said: "More positive news this month and a continuation of the recent trend, with healthy falls in unemployment and rises in employment.

"The unemployment rate for the North East this quarter is at a record low. As the labour market tightens, we need to ensure that workers can acquire the skills required by businesses to drive forward growth.

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland said: "We are pleased to see that employment continues to grow across the North East region. Today’s data shows the number of people in employment has grown by 34,000 over the last year, with 11,000 more people in work over the quarter.

"Once a quarter we get more detailed statistics than in other months and today is one of those occasions. These additional data show that there has been growth in service sector jobs of 24,000 over the year.

"Within that, we are particularly pleased to see growth in the information and communications sector, which includes many of the region’s digital companies, and growth in professional, scientific and technical activities.

"We are also pleased to see that the manufacturing sector, which has always played a critical role in the North East economy, has grown, with 8,000 more jobs over the year.

"We are continuing to see unemployment decline. Our unemployment rate is now 5.2%, compared to 6.8% last year. This is the largest decline in the unemployment rate of all English regions over the year.

"The number of people unemployed is down 7,000 over the quarter and 20,000 over the year.

"There has been growth in both full and part-time workers and across both employee jobs and self-employment. This is different to the national picture, where self-employment has fallen. We have seen a decline in the number of workers with second jobs and the number of people in temporary jobs. Combined, these suggest that demand for labour is growing.

"The North East LEP will continue to work with partners to ensure individuals have the skills to take up the opportunities being created by the North East’s employers."

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn said: "While the Tories were busy boasting and patting themselves on the back over the latest UK employment figures, people claiming unemployment benefits over the past twelve months in the Jarrow Constituency has still went up.

"These figures are extremely worrying and only show where this government’s priorities lie – and it’s certainly not the people across South Tyneside, Gateshead, and the wider North East region.

"The longer the Tories remain in government the more damage they will do and it will only continue to get worse."