Slight rise in South Tyneside jobless claimant count - but little change over the year

The latest figures show a slight rise in the number of out-of-work benefits claimants in South Tyneside
The latest figures show a slight rise in the number of out-of-work benefits claimants in South Tyneside

The number of people classed as looking for work in South Tyneside rose slightly last month - but the number was virtually static over the year.

There were 4,245 people receiving out-of-work benefits - including Jobseeker's Allowance and Universal Credit - in the borough in January, a rise of 75 on December - but up by just 10 year-on-year.-

Across the North East, employment stands at 1,219,000 or 72.0% - a fall of 15,000 over the quarter but an increase of 25,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 75.2% nationally.

North East unemployment stands at 69,000 or 5.3% - a fall of 3,000 over the quarter and 21,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 4.4% nationally.

The claimant count is 54,200 or 4.4% in the North East. The national claimant count rate is 2.3%.

Steve Milne, from JobCentre Plus, said: "We are looking forward now to summer, with jobs starting to come through in the kinds of hospitality businesses that are going on in South Shields.

"This is the time of year when we rally start to see activity in this sector and people who may have had temporary jobs over Christmas are ideally placed."

North East England Chamber of Commerce policy adviser Paul Carbert said: "The figures published this morning show a slight fall in employment in the North East over the previous quarter, but the region’s labour market is in a much healthier position than 12 months ago.

"The North East has seen the largest increase in the employment rate, and the largest fall in the unemployment rate, of any region since October to December 2016.

"We must continue to focus on creating the conditions for economic growth, and ensuring that the education and skills system is aligned with the needs of business."

David Blair, managing director of North East-based BMC Recruitment Group, said: "The employment statistics show that real progress has been made over the past year. It is certainly reflective of what we have witnessed with regards to recruitment. Our client base includes a range of businesses from Plc to SMEs and we are increasingly seeing an increased demand for fresh talent.

"This demand is across multiple disciplines including finance, technology, sales and marketing and engineering and it’s testament to the breadth of economic activity in the North East. These sectors are our core disciplines, there is great demand and we are seeing particularly strong growth in Technology, as the region becomes ever more established as a digital hub.

"The North East’s strength on exports, relative to the rest of the country, is well known and as such we’re an important part of the UK’s economic engine. The employment statistics highlight the healthy increase in employment we have seen over the past 12 months, and underline the key areas of economic strength that we can continue to develop."