The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool has risen for the sixth month in a row.
There were 2,750 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid only to those classed as actively looking for work – in the town last month, a rise of 40 on January’s figure.
That marks a rise of 295 year-on-year.
There were 2,335 people claiming the benefit in the Stockton North constituency last month, a rise of 35, 1,170 claimants in Sedgefield, up ten, and 1,540 in Easington, an increase of 105.
The figures buck the regional trend, which saw the claimant count drop by 1,100 over the year.
Jackie McNab, of Jobcentre Plus, said the area had been particularly affected by redundancies in the steel industry.
“They have been hit by the likes of Caparo and other businesses that would work with the likes of SSI,” she said.
“And Hartlepool has been dealing with other redundancies in the area at the same time.
“The good news is that if people are prepared to travel, there are jobs out there at the moment.
“I think some of it is down to changes in the system, too, with people moving from different benefits – Universal Credit will give us a more accurate picture.
“We have been working closely with the local authority and have organised a disability confidence event at the McDonald’s restaurant in Marina Walk between 9.30am and 11.30am on Tuesday to encourage employers to give people with disabilities a chance. Businesses can call 01429 253 726 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”