Hartlepool claimant count on the rise

The latest North East unemployment figures have been released
The latest North East unemployment figures have been released

The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool jumped by more than 30 last month.

There were 3,385 people receiving out-of-work benefits in the constituency in May, up from 3,350 in April.

There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work is at a new record high of 1.22 million people and the employment rate has reached its highest level since comparable records began – 72.2%.

David Gauke

The claimant count in Easington also rose, but by just five, to 1,745.

And it dropped in Sedgefield, down ten to 1,250, and Stockton North, down 85 to 2,355.

The number of people receiving out-of-work benefits in Hartlepool is up by more than 500 year-on-year, but Karen Houghton, from Hartlepool JobCentre said much of the rise was down to a change in the way the figures were calculated.

The town had been one of the first to move onto the new Universal Credit, she said.

“We have got people who are claiming Universal Credit in place of housing benefit or council tax credit mixed in with those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, so it is different now,” she said.

The employment picture in the town was ‘quite healthy’, with plans in the pipeline for a major jobs event at the centre.

“We have got an agency day coming up on July 6,” said Karen.

“We have got ten agencies coming in who are offering jobs right across the spectrum - warehousing, care, logisitics, admin.

“We are preparing for that Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, David Gauke said: “This government wants to give everyone the opportunity to succeed, regardless of where they live or their background.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work is at a new record high of 1.22 million people and the employment rate has reached its highest level since comparable records began – 72.2%.

“This is good news for families as we continue to build a stronger, fairer Britain.”

Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns, with the North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “These figures build on the good news we saw last month and confirm the remarkable improvements we have seen in our labour market in recent months.

“Significant increases in employment and falls in unemployment demonstrate the opportunities available in the North East as we continue to progress faster than many other parts of the UK.

“Exceptional changes in data such as this can sometimes prove to be a blip, but the long term trends are clearly moving in the right direction. With the right support from the new Government, we believe we can build on our reputation as a working North East.”