THE number of people claiming a jobless benefit has dropped for the 33rd consecutive month.
In Hartlepool there were 2,551 people who claimed Job Seekers’ Allowance in November, a drop from 2,648 in the previous month.
The figure accounts for 4.4 per cent of people of working age in the town.
Jason Livingston, service transformation manager for JobCentre Plus’ Durham and Tees Valley district, which includes Hartlepool, said: “Nationally it is down and that’s reflected in Hartlepool which is down 33 per cent year on year.
“It’s continuing to be positive in the patch, it’s the 33rd month in a row where there’s been a drop in the register for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants.
“We are seeing that as a continuing trend. We started off with Hartlepool hit more than other areas, but we are continuing on a steady path.”
In the Easington constituency area, November had 1,711 people claiming the benefit, down from 1,794 in October.
The Sedgefield constituency saw a fall from 1,425 in October to 1,372 in November.
The Stockton North constituency, which includes Billingham, Wolviston and parts of Wynyard, saw figures fall from 2,556 in October to 2,469 last month.
Unemployment in the North East fell by 8,000 in the three months to October, with new figures showing a total of 118,000 people were unemployed in the region between August and October.
The region’s unemployment rate was 9.1 per cent and saw a fall of 6.4 per cent during the period.
The Government was given some pre-Christmas cheer on the jobs front when the new UK figures showed another fall in unemployment and a record number of people in work.
But a cut of 63,000 in the jobless total to 1.96 million between August and October was the smallest quarterly fall for a year.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 30.8 million people were in work, the highest since records began in 1971, and 588,000 up on a year ago.
The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance was down by 26,900 in November to 900,100 - the 25th consecutive monthly fall.
Pay, including bonuses, increased by 1.4 per cent in the year to October, up by 0.4 per cent on the previous month.