Hartlepool jobseeker count falls in last month - but is up year-on-year

The latest employment figures have been released
The latest employment figures have been released

The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool fell last month.

New official labour market statistics show there were 2,735 people claiming out of work benefits in the town in November - a fall of 10 since October but up by 220 year-on-year.

There were 1,650 people claiming benefits in the Easington constituency, a fall of 35 since October but up 275 over the year; 1,310 in the Sedgefield area, down five on the previous month but up 165 over the year, and 2,300 in the Stockton North constituency, a rise of 35 on the month and 100 up over a year.

Across the North East, the number of people in work rose by 33,000 over the year, to 1,207,000 - but the claimant count is also up by 4,400 to 52,300, as more people have entered the jobs market. The number of people classed as ‘economically inactive’ in the region dropped by 10,000 to 399,000 over the last year.

Karen Houghton, of Hartlepool JobCentre, said the town’s employment market was buoyant.

The centre has recently worked with B&M, Frankie and Benny’s and WH Smith on recruitment.

“In terms of what is happening, it is all good,” she said.

North East England Chamber of Commerce police adviser Paul Carbert said: “The employment statistics show little change on the previous three months, but steady progress has been made over the past year on increasing employment and reducing unemployment.

“The North East saw the largest increase in the employment rate over the past year, and the largest fall in the unemployment rate. It is positive news that we end 2016 in a significantly better position than last year.

“There is more work to be done to match up skill levels in the workforce with the needs of employers, and the chamber will be supporting members in 2017 to upskill and retrain experienced workers and open up opportunities for the unemployed.

“We need to have a working North East where everyone contributes to our economy.”

North East Local Enterprise Partnership head of strategy and policy Richard Baker added: “Today’s statistics for the North East mirror those of the national economic picture which suggest a slowing down in the UK labour market over the last quarter.

“Whilst the position remains much improved on the position a year ago, employment numbers are currently largely static overall. Unemployment has fallen again slightly, while the numbers of people economically inactive has increased.

“Within the employment figures for the region, one detail is that we are seeing an increase in the number of people in full-time work which is encouraging, with a drop off in the numbers of people in part-time and temporary work.”