HARTLEPOOL has suffered the biggest North-East drop in job openings.
The bleak picture has been highlighted in figures from Working Links which helps people in disadvantaged areas to get back into work.
It shows that vacancies dropped in town by 34 per cent between November 2010 and January 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.
Actual figures show there were 247 openings in 2010-2011 compared to 375 a year earlier.
The report also highlighted that the region’s largest increase in vacancies has been seen in the North Tyneside area and that the manufacturing sector had been hit the hardest.
A Working Links spokesman said: “Employers in the region are generally looking for candidates that have a positive attitude to work and recent work experience in their field.
“We are working closely with employers to increase the chance of sustainable jobs by offering candidates support before and after they find work to make sure they have the skills and qualities that employers need.”
Latest statistics put the North-East unemployment figure at 129,000.
It comes after TUC officials also spoke out on the shrinking jobs market in the region.
They said Hartlepool, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland were in the top 25 worst affected constituencies out of over 630 across the UK for the number of job seekers to vacancies.
Northern TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said: “The recent buy-out of Corus and Hitachi announcement are a major boon for the region and will help to temper these alarming statistics somewhat.
“However, this is a drop in the ocean given the overall scale of the impending job losses.
“We’re clearly not all in this together, especially if you live in the north east and particularly Teesside.
“Ministers should use the Budget to halt savage spending cuts and commit to a growth strategy – providing the much-needed alternative that is increasingly being sought by the voters of this region, and country as a whole.”