Rise in town’s jobless benefit claimant count

JobCentre Plus
JobCentre Plus

The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool jumped by almost 400 in the last year.

There were 2,680 people receiving out of work benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, in the borough last month, up 35 on July and a rise of 380 on August 2015.

There were 1,585 claimants in Easington, a rise of 160 on last year; 1,225 in Sedgefield (up 55) and 2,245 in Stockton North, an increase of 150 on last year.

Staff at Hartlepool Jobcentre are preparing to help school and college leavers who will be entering the job market this summer.

“We have a scheme called ‘Steps 2 Success’ which we have started this week,” said spokesman Paul Robson.

“We will be offering help to every school leaver who comes to us and claims benefit as part of the programme over the next six weeks.

“And our work experience programme is perfect for young people or anyone who has been out of work for a long time.”

Across the North East, the number of people in work rose by 50,000 in the year to July - but the number of people classed as unemployed only fell by 10,000 in the same period, as more people entered the job market.

There were 1,209,000 people in work in the region in the second quarter of the year, a rise of 11,000 on the previous three months, and 98,000 people classed as unemployed, a rise of 4,000 on the three months to April.

Minister for Employment Damian Hinds said: “When it comes to our jobs market, we’ve made great progress since 2010 with employment up in every region.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work has risen by 50,000 over the past year, with over 1.2 million people in work.

“It’s important we work to keep up this momentum so more people can make the most of opportunities available in the economy.”

Britain’s employment picture remained bright over the period including the first month after the Brexit vote, with a record number of people in work.

The employment rate remained at a record high of 74.5%, with 31.8 million people in work in the three months to July - 174,000 more than the previous quarter.

A total of 1.63 million people are unemployed - a fall of 39,000 over the quarter and 190,000 down compared with a year ago, giving a jobless rate of 4.9%.

Office for National Statistics spokesman Nick Palmer said: “These figures show continued labour market improvement, with the employment rate remaining at a record high and inactivity at a new record low.

“The headline Labour Force Survey and earnings data cover one month since the EU referendum.”