The number of people looking for work in South Tyneside has risen again.
There were 4,420 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance –paid only to those classed as actively looking for work – in the borough last month.
That marks a rise of 120 on January’s figure of 4,300 and is the third consecutive month to see the claimant count rise.
The figure now stands at its highest level in almost 18 months – there were 4,435 claimants in the borough in October 2014.
The count is up 245 year-on-year, bucking the regional trend which has seen the total North East claimant count drop by 1,100 to 47, 100 since February 2015.
Steve McCall, from JobCentre plus, said it was difficult to say exactly why the claimant count was up in the borough.
“The count year-on-year is up slightly and I wouldn’t want to speculate as to why,” he said.
“Elsewhere in the North East the figures are looking quite good but we are not complacent.
“We are looking to do all we can to oput people forward to employers.
“It is about giving people the skills they need and making sure they know where the jobs are, if they are not in their immediate area.
“It is a challenge for us to do that.”
North East Chamber of commerce Paul Carbert, Policy Advisor, North East Chamber of Commerce said: “The figures are definitely going in the right direction but we are still lagging behind other regions in the North.
“The positive trends are continuing with more people in the private sector, up 32,000 over 12 months.”