Number of Hartlepool people claiming out of work benefits continues to rise

A Job Centre building.
A Job Centre building.

The number of people in Hartlepool claiming out of work benefits has continued to rise, according to new figures.

Statistics show that 3,625 people in the town were in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and unemployment-related Universal Credit in August, up from 3,600 in July. The figure in June stood at 3,505.

In the Stockton North constituency, 2,255 people were claiming in August, slightly down from 2,265 in July, while in Sedgefield, the claimant count stood at 1,290 people last month, down from 1,300 in July.

In the North East, the number of people classed as unemployed stood at 77,000, meaning that six per cent of people in the region are currently without work.

The figure was up 8,000 on the previous quarter but down 20,000 overall year-on-year.

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said: “There’s good news in the North East where the number of people in work is 1.21 million close to a record high. Unemployment has fallen 20,000 on the year with the unemployment rate down 1.4% points.

“But there is more to do, and we will continue to build on our achievements through our employment programmes and the work of Jobcentre Plus.”

Julia Hume, from Hartlepool JobCentre, said it was difficult to compare claimant counts year-on-year, because the latest figure now included Universal Credit as well as Job seeker’s Allowance.

“The labour market at the moment is really buoyant,” she said.

“We have had quite a bit of success in Hartlepool JobCentre with employers coming in and recruiting directly. We have had a lot of success with Deeset, who are a retail solutions company.

“We have had 19 jobs taken over the last six weeks. Not only is that the highest success rate they have had, but the attendance rate was also the highest.”

Paul Carbert, policy adviser, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “The latest figures released this morning show a small increase in unemployment in our region over the previous three months, but an increase in the employment rate over the past year.

“The North East has seen the greatest fall in unemployment of any region over the last 12 months. Although the recent results are not as positive as previous months, we are still in a much better place than we were a year ago.

“Our Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2017 has shown our members are positive about future workforce growth, and recruiting permanent, full time roles.”