Number of people looking for work in Hartlepool has fallen again

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The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool has fallen again.

There were 1,970 people claiming the benefit – paid only to those officially classed as looking for work – in the Hartlepool constituency last month, down from 2,050 in May and a fall of 1,075 over the year.

The fall in employment numbers is surprising given the results we’ve seen from our Quarterly Economic Survey, where the workforce score was at a higher point than at any point since 1995.

Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns

But the number of people receiving the benefit in the Sedgefield constituency jumped by 10 between May and June, to 1,170. The count was down by 314 year-on-year, however.

The Easington constituency saw the claimant count drop by 46 between May and June, to 1,508, and was down 443 over the year.

And in the Stockton North constituency, which includes Billingham, Wolviston and parts of Wynyard, the number of people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance dropped by 28 between May and June to 2,134, down 735 over the year.

Karen Houghton, from Hartlepool Jobcentre, said the retail sector had been particularly busy, with the opening of a store by new chain Pep and Co creating 13 jobs.

She said: “We are seeing some quality opportunities coming through for claimants to apply for and we continue to have a wide range of work experience opportunities to give young people a chance to make themselves a better fit for employment.

“We are seeing diverse opportunities coming in, with particular emphasis on the retail and hospitality sectors, something we have seen consistently over the last 12 months.

“And we have been working closely with some of our largest employers to help them to advertise their vacancies.”

But there was mixed news on employment across the region, with the number of people in employment falling according to the latest figures.

Employment in the North East stood at 1,171,000 or 68.7% last month - a fall of 14,000 over the quarter and 4,000 over the year.

This compares to a rate of 73.3% nationally.

The official unemployment total was also down, however, at 96,000 or 7.8% - a fall of 2,000 over the quarter and 29,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 5.6% nationally.

The Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant count stood at 47,400, or 3.9% in the North East, compared to 2.3% nationally.

Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns, at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “The fall in employment numbers is surprising given the results we’ve seen from our Quarterly Economic Survey, where the workforce score was at a higher point than at any point since 1995.

“Today’s figures are hopefully just a blip, yet they reflect the challenge the North East faces in ensuring the private sector is able to compensate for the significant number of people leaving the public sector.

“Nevertheless, there are still some positives to be found, specifically the on-going fall in unemployment. This month, our region has bucked the national trend, with national unemployment increasing slightly.

“The North East is consistently reducing the number of people unemployed, with the unemployment figures dropping almost 25% in the past two years.”