Hartlepool MP calls employment figures a ‘huge concern’ despite more young people finding work

The Hartlepool Job Centre Plus building. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN
The Hartlepool Job Centre Plus building. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN

THE number of young people out of work in Hartlepool is the lowest on record for the last three-and-a-half years.

But despite the hard work being done to help young people into work, sadly unemployment on the whole increased in Hartlepool last month, new figures have revealed.

A total of 3,397 people claimed jobseeker’s allowance in Hartlepool in December, 40 more than the previous month.

That means that 6.8 per cent of people in town claimed the benefit last month, higher than the regional and national average.

But the situation does look brighter for young people who have been searching for work. The figures released yesterday show that 1,095 18-24 year-olds in Hartlepool were unemployed last month.

The last time the figure was as low as that was in July 2010 when exactly the same amount of young people in the town were out of work and claiming the benefit.

The number of young people in Hartlepool out of work has been falling steadily over the past 12 months. In February last year as many as 1,430 18-24 year-olds were jobless and claiming jobseeker’s allowance but the figure has since fallen every month.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright welcomed the fall in youth unemployment in the town but expressed his “huge concern” at the rise in the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance last month.

Mr Wright said: “The unemployment figures for Hartlepool are deeply disappointing.

“Although the levels of youth unemployment have come down, which is welcome, a monthly rise in the total number of jobless in the town, at a time when the national unemployment figures are falling, means that many in the town are finding it even more difficult to find work and are struggling to make ends meet.”

There was good news for jobseekers in East Durham with unemployment levels falling in the Easington constituency last month.

The figures show 2,587 people claimed jobseeker’s allowance in December compared to 2,648 the previous month.

Sedgefield also recorded a fall in claimants where 1,980 people were out of work in December, 22 less than November. But there was an increase in claimants in the Stockton North constituency, which covers Billingham and Wolviston, where 3,446 people claimed the benefit in December, an increase from 3,393 claimants in November.