The number of people classed as looking for work in Hartlepool increased last month.
There were 4,085 people claiming out-of-work benefits - Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit - in the town last month, a rise of 40 on August and 485 year-on-year.
Employment is up on the previous quarter, however the growth in employment in the region has not kept pace with the national trend. The number of people classed as economically inactive has also increased, and the economic inactivity rate is higher than any other English region.Paul Carbert
The introduction of Universal Credit - which covers more people than Jobseeker’s Allowance - has seen sharp rises in claimant counts in some areas year-on-year.
In Easington, the count was up by 30 in the last month and 930 over the year, to 2,715, and in Sedgefield by 115 in the last month 455, to 1,760. But Stockton North saw claimant numbers rise by just 35, to 2,290.
The Department of Work and Pensions’ Lee Ogden said there are job opportunities including in the production sector: “We have been working with TMD in Hartlepool, a global brake manufacture and running sector academy workshops to recruit for them.
“We have also been running sessions to help people apply to work for the Civil Service - we have quite a unique application process and we have been helping people apply for vacancies.”
Across the North East, employment stands at 1,211,000 or 71.3% - an increase of 10,000 over the quarter, but a fall of 6,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 75.5% nationally. But the number of people classed as unemployed in the region also fell over the last year.
Unemployment stands at 57,000 or 4.5% (compared to four per cent nationally), a fall of 4,000 over the quarter and 18,000 over the year.
Paul Carbert, policy adviser with the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “The labour market statistics show more positive news as the number of people out of work has halved in the past four years.
“Employment is up on the previous quarter, however the growth in employment in the region has not kept pace with the national trend. The number of people classed as economically inactive has also increased, and the economic inactivity rate is higher than any other English region.
“This is a cause of concern for our potential for growth.
“The results of our Quarterly Economic Survey show a drop in confidence about current and future workforce levels. We urge the Government to use the upcoming budget to reduce costs for businesses looking to take on more staff.
“Our members have also called on the Chancellor to provide more flexibility to firms recruiting apprentices to open up entry-level opportunities for young people.”