Number of jobseekers drops in Hartlepool and East Durham

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THE number of people claiming jobless benefits in Hartlepool has dropped again.

In August, there were 2,822 people in Hartlepool claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).

This is down from 2,938 the previous month and represents 4.8 per cent of the town’s working age population.

There were 51 less people claiming JSA in the Easington district, now at 1,837, compared to 1,888 in July.

But in the Sedgefield constituency, the figure has risen slightly, to 1,467 to 1,442.

In Stockton North, which includes Billingham, Wolviston and parts of Wynyard, the number has gone from 2,773 to 2,618.

Nationally, the number claiming the benefit has now dropped below one million, and unemployment has seen the largest annual fall in a quarter of a century.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: “Creating jobs is central to building a stronger, more resilient and stable economy.

“With millions more people in private sector employment under this Government, it is clear that our long-term economic plan is helping Britain to recover following one of the deepest recessions in living memory.

“All of our reforms are focussed on helping people off benefits and into work – giving people the peace of mind and security that comes with a steady income.

“With the number of people claiming the main unemployment benefit down below one million for the first time in 6 years, we are helping people to break free from welfare dependency, look after themselves and their families, and play their part in getting our country back to work.”

Unemployment saw the largest annual fall in 26 years, dropping by 468,000, which brings the unemployment rate to a new six-year low of 6.2 per cent.

The employment rate, at 73 per cent, is also back up to the level seen before the recession with 30.61 million people in work.