Number of people claiming benefits rises in town

Job Centre Plus
Job Centre Plus

The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool has risen by more than 300 in the last year.

In the town there were 2,695 people receiving out of work benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, last month, compared to 2,315 in September 2015.

“There’s great news in the North East”

Damian Hinds

However, Diane Luke, a spokesman for Hartlepool Jobcentre Plus, said the number of people claiming benefit in the town has fallen overall since 2010.

She said the number of 18-24s claiming benefits had dropped 39% since 2010 and the number of claimants of all ages is down by 1,238 people, which is a drop of 31%.

Ms Luke said the town is currently heavily into the seasonal recruitment process with many of the big stores, such as Next, Tesco and Asda looking for people to take on temporary Christmas jobs.

She added that TMD Friction, based in the town, is looking for up to 15 new production workers and B&M, which has announced it will be moving into the former BHS store in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, is also intending to take on around 50 employees.

In Easington constituency the number of people claming benefits has risen from 1,390 in September 2015 compared to 1,625 last month, in Sedgefield the figure is up from 1,175 to 1,255 for the same months and in Stockton North, which includes Billingham, it is up from 2,015 to 2,230.

But, the latest figures released today show in the North East over the last quarter, from June to August, the number of people in employment has risen by 52,000 compared to the same period last year.

And, the number of people claiming benefit is down by 22,000 for the same period.

Responding to the North East figures, Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said: “Once again it’s great news for Britain as the employment rate remains at a record high with more than 31.8 million men and women in work.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work has risen by 52,000 over the past year, with over 1.2 million people in work.

“But there’s more to do, particularly when it comes to supporting young people into employment. We want to build a solid base for the future, that’s why today I have announced the roll out of our Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools scheme in England which will give tens of thousands of young people help in taking their first steps into the world of work.”