Hartlepool bucks North-East employment trend as jobless total falls

The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Hartlepool fell last month.

The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Hartlepool fell last month.

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Hartlepool bucked the North East employment trend last month.

Unemployment in the region jumped by 13,000 in the three months to July, with a total of 108,000 people unemployed in the region.

But in Hartlepool, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance - paid to those classed as actively looking for work - fell by 100 last month, to 1,870.

The claimant count also dropped in Easington, down 45 to 1,421. But there were rises in Sedgefield - up 35 to 1,171 – and Stockton North, up by just three to 2,093.

North East Chamber of Commerce head of policy and campaigns Jonathan Walker said: “Another fall in employment and rise in unemployment over the quarter is obviously a cause for concern, with the North East following national trends in both regards. However, these falls should be seen in the context of the annual figures, which show the North East labour market is still in a much healthier position than this time last year.

“The numbers should serve as a reminder not to be complacent about the recent progress made in tackling unemployment in the region. The gap between our rates and the national averages is still far too large.”

Northern TUC Policy and Campaigns Officer Neil Foster said: “Government ministers would have you believe we are all enjoying an economic recovery and the economy is successfully rebalancing towards the north, but the jobs figures tell a different story.

“North East businesses are doing their best in challenging economic conditions but government suggestions that everywhere is doing fine appear to be dangerously complacent.”