Hartlepool sees rise in benefit claimants in the last month

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

Regional unemployment has fallen but there has been a mix of rises and falls in benefit claimants in the Hartlepool Mail area, according to the latest figures.

Hartlepool’s figures for Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants has risen to 3,580 in September, compared to 3,500 in August.

It comes as Universal Credit is being rolled out nationally, but was introduced in Hartlepool last December to merge six different benefit types into one system.

While the figures for the town include people claiming Universal Credit who are out of work, the Department for Work and Pensions say it also includes people who are working who are also claiming the benefit.

Under Universal Credit a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance, they say that as Universal Credit is rolled out, the number of people recorded as being on the Claimant Count is therefore likely to rise.

In the Easington constituency the figure was 1,790 in September, down from 1,805 in August and in the Sedgefield constituency it was 1,300, a minor rise from 1,295 in August.

In the Stockton North constituency, which includes Billingham, Wolviston and Wynyard, the figure for September was 2,255, down from 2,265 in August.

Across the North East, unemployment between June and August was 75,000, which is a fall of 3,000 and stands at 5.8 per cent.

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said: “There’s good news in the North East where the number of people in work is 1.22 million close to the record high. Unemployment has fallen 13,000 on the year with the unemployment rate down 1.0 points.

“Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.

“We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.

“That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.

“For example we’ve launched our new returnship programme to help more women get into good jobs after taking time out, and to keep their career progressing.”

Nationwide unemployment down 52,000 on quarter and the lowest rate since 1975, the employment rate is 75.1 per cent with 32.10 million people in work. The unemployment rate nationally stands at 4.3 per cent.