Hartlepool out of work benefits claimants rise for third month in a row

The out of work claimant count for Hartlepool was 4,135 for October.
The out of work claimant count for Hartlepool was 4,135 for October.

The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in Hartlepool rose for the third month in a row in October.

Official statistics show there were 4,135 people aged over 16 claiming benefits which was up by 55 on the previous month.

The claimant count for the town is at its highest since March of this year when the figure stood at 4,370.

It is up by 385 compared to October last year.

The latest number means that the proportion of people on out-of-work benefits in Hartlepool at 7.2% is almost double the North East rate of 3.8% and more than three times the Great Britain Average of 2.3%.

The Department for Work and Pensions pointed out some of the claimants included in the figures will be in work but are still counted as they are eligible for and receive an amount of Universal Credit.

Under Universal Credit a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance.

Of the claimants in Hartlepool for October, 1,030 were aged 18-24. Men made up the largest share at 2,605 and the number of women was 1,525.

Despite the Hartlepool rise, ministers say the picture for the North East as a whole is improving.

Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “Our Northern Powerhouse strategy puts creating more jobs and developing education at its core.

"Unemployment in the North East is down almost 56% since 2010, and the Government wants to do even more to boost the prosperity of local families as we leave the European Union so I am delighted the new North of Tyne devolution deal is set to create 10,000 new jobs and plans for a Special Economic Area for the South Tees Development Corporation were announced in the Budget.

"Working together with our partners we are continuing to deliver for the people of the North East, and across the North.”

Nationally, the DWP says more people in work then ever before and real wages went up for the 8th month in a row, the fastest rate in almost a decade

And 973,000 more disabled people are in work since 2013.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: “Since 2010, employment has risen and unemployment has fallen in every single region of the UK.

"And with an average of 1,000 people moving into work each and every day, and three quarters of all new jobs in permanent, full time and high skilled roles, this shows our welfare reforms are working and delivering for people across the country.”