People in this town want to work

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright says the town having the third highest number in England of jobseekers chasing each vacancy shows that people in the town want to work.

The town has the third highest figure in England for the number of jobseekers chasing each Jobcentre vacancy, with an average of 15.7 people fighting for each of the 283 jobs available.

It comes as 600 people attended an employment fair yesterday to learn more about job and training opportunities in the town.

The latest figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen in Hartlepool for the seventh month in a row.

Government figures for August show that 4,456 people in the town claimed the benefit compared to 4,472 in July.

The fall in claimants started in February meaning that January was the only month this year to have seen a rise in jobless figures.

Hartlepool has 7.7 per cent of the working age population claiming the benefit, leaving the town with the fifth highest percentage of claimants in the country.

Mr Wright said: “The vacancies are a big concern. The town wants to work, but the jobs aren’t available.

“We need to have a different economic policy based on economic growth and job creation.

“Construction is a major player and stimulus towards house building would help and businesses need access to finance to allow them to grow.

“Manufacturing should also be at the heart of the economy and firms should have access to finance.”

Figures for the Easington constituency rose from 3,293 in July to 3,307 in August, meaning 6.2 per cent of working age people are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Figures in the Sedgefield constituency stood at 2,629 in August, up from 2,600 the previous month. It means that five per cent of working age people claim the benefit.

In the Stockton North constituency, which includes Billingham, Wolviston and parts of Wynyard, there was also a rise from 4,141 in July to 4,203 in August. The area has seven per cent of working age population claiming the benefit.

Figures for the North-East show that unemployment between May to July fell by 11,000 to 134,000, which means that 10.4 per cent of the working age population is out of work.

Nationally, figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was down 15,000 to 1.57m in August.

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