More than 4,000 jobless benefits claimants in Hartlepool as figures rise in last 12 months

Job Centre Plus. Picture by FRANK REID
Job Centre Plus. Picture by FRANK REID

Jobs-boosting developments are on the way in Hartlepool.

But the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in the town has increased year on year, latest figures show.

Northern Power House is about boosting jobs and the economy of the North through investment in industry, innovation, skills, transport and culture

Jake Berry

Official statistics show there were 4,118 people aged over 16 claiming benefits and that was 166 more than the same time last year, making a 4% increase.

Of those, 950 were aged between 18 and 24 in the latest calculations which related to November last year.

But the figures also show a 26% fall on the levels of five years ago.

The Department for Work and Pensions pointed out that the claimant count calculations have changed and, whereas the original Claimant Count measured the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, a broader span of claimants were required to look for work under Universal Credit which had the effect of increasing the count.

In the North East as a whole, there were 74,487 people on the alternative claimant count.

Northern Power House Minister Jake Berry said: “Northern Power House is about boosting jobs and the economy of the North through investment in industry, innovation, skills, transport and culture.

“We are backing the North East with investment including £14 million, to kick start the transformation of former Redcar steel works site into a new industrial quarter which is expected to create 500 new jobs and attract an extra half billion pounds of private investment.”

Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma said: “Once again, we see a new record employment rate in the UK, 75.8%, with more people in work than ever before. UK workers also got a much needed pay boost before

Christmas with wages outpacing inflation for the tenth month in a row in November, growing at the fastest rate in a decade.

“There are 328,000 more people in work over the past year, almost entirely driven by full-time jobs as the Government delivers an economy that works for the British people.”

Officials also pointed out a number of potential jobs-boosting developments which are helping to drive up employmet rates.

They include:

The Northern School of Art’s plans for a new 30,000 sq ft film and television studio and production facility which, if approved, will be the only one of its kind in the North East;

Cordant Securities bid to fill 15 jobs in Hartlepool, with interviews and training courses on the way;

Hartlepool and Billingham Jobcentre Plus hosting a joint Jobs Extravaganza Event at The Grand Hotel on February 14, to bring together employers and potential candidate;

Carewatch Hartlepool holding an open day on January 24 to recruit 20 new care assistants.