The number of people looking for work in Hartlepool rose by more than 100 last month.
There were 2,144 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid only to those classed as officially looking for work – in the town in January, a rise of 115 on December’s figure.
But the claimant count was down 435 year-on-year, from last January’s 2,579.
In Easington, the claimant count last month was 1,215, up 12 on December but a fall of 467 over the year. Sedgefield saw the claimant count rise by just three between December and January and fall 247 over the year to 1023 and Stockton North’s 2,234 was a rise of 52 over a molth but a drop of 291 across the year.
Across the North East, the number of people in work was up 28,000 over the year.
The JSA claimant rate still stood at 3.9%, almost double the national rate of 2.2%, but the number of people who have been claiming for more than two years has halved since January 2014.
Paul Carbert, Policy Advisor at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is very encouraging news.
“We’re very pleased to see the employment rate up 2.1 per cent over the quarter; this is the largest rise in the country for the second month running.
“Although unemployment has decreased, it still remains high compared to the rest of the UK.
“The number of people in our region aged 16-64 who are classed as economically active has risen over the quarter.
“This may be due to people re-entering the labour market after being on long-term sick or caring for a relative who have not yet found work.
“Nevertheless, long-term unemployment is falling so the North East is definitely heading in the right direction.”
North East LEP Chief Economist Chris Milne said the manufacturing and service industries were leading the way in job creation across the region, with 9,000 more jobs in manufacturing and 28,000 more in services.
“While we must not get carried away by short term fluctuations in statistics, today’s labour market figures give us reason for optimism.”