Region hits job figure high while Hartlepool’s unemployment rises

The latest job figures have been released by the Government.
The latest job figures have been released by the Government.
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The North East has hit record levels of employment - while Hartlepool and its neighbours have seen a rise in those claiming jobless benefit.

The latest regional statistics show 51,000 more people are in a job compared to this time last year, with 1.2million people in work in total.

What we are also finding is that employers want the right person for the job, which they are finding more important than skills and qualifications.

Jackie McNab, Jobcentre Plus

But in Hartlepool, 2,750 people are making a claim, a rise of 45 since last month and 320 over the year.

In Easington, there are 1,690 claimants, up 55 and 340 respectively, while in Sedgefield, the Jobcentre says 1,315 are claiming, up 50 since last month and 150 in the last year, with Stockton North 2,265, up 30 and 140 on the last 12 months.

Jackie McNab, customer service leader for Jobcentre Plus, says work is under way to help jobseekers consider roles they may not have thought about before and to look at whether they want to stay local in their next role or are willing to travel to take up the right position.

“There are a range of part-time, full-time, some temporary and some permanent positions, with a lot across the care sector,” she said.

“The job market is changing in our area, there is not the heavy industry now, but the service industry is going well and a lot of our customers have the skills needed.

“What we are also finding is that employers want the right person for the job, which they are finding more important than skills and qualifications.”

Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said: “Yet again we have a strong set of figures, with employment continuing to run at a record high and unemployment falling to a 11-year low. Growth is being fuelled by full-time professional jobs while wages are continuing to perform strongly, which underlines the resilience of the UK labour market.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work has risen by 51,000 over the past year, with a record 1.2 million people in work.

“The measures we have taken have put our economy in a position of strength, and we will work to ensure more people can benefit from these opportunities as we build a country that works for everyone.”

The North East Chamber of Commerce has said it is pleased with the latest regional figures.

Paul Carbert, policy adviser, said: “These figures give us positive news on the labour market in the North East. They show that participation in the labour market and the number of people in employment has increased in the past year, and unemployment has fallen by 30,000. Although we still have the highest unemployment rate in the country, the gap between the North East unemployment rate and the national average is at its lowest since 2010.”