HUNDREDS of people applied for just 14 jobs at a new supermarket due to open within weeks, it has been revealed.
Bosses at the retail chain say that more than 200 job-hunters applied to fill the vacancies at the forthcoming Tesco Express in Houghton Road, Hetton.
That news comes after the Echo last week reported that joblessness figures for Wearside are falling.
According to statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions, there were 7,587 Sunderland people actively looking for a job in December – down from 7,936 the previous month.
Overall, however, unemployment in the North East increased by 1,000 in the three months to November and now stands at 10.3 per cent.
Tesco store manager Nicola Tempest and her team in Hetton promoted the new positions online, and the drive has now led to all vacancies being filled by people living locally.
Nicola said: “I was thrilled by the response we received to our recruitment drive.
“As a store, we are delighted to be creating additional jobs for our local community and for local people, helping them back into employment. I am thrilled with the new team, and I am confident that we will provide the best possible service to our customers.
“We are delighted to be opening a Tesco Express store in Houghton Road and look forward to playing an active role in the local community.”
Its opening hours will be seven days a week from 6am until 11pm, and the store will have a free cash machine, National Lottery counter and self-service tills as well as mobile phone top-up facilities.
It will also house a bakery and click-and-collect service allowing customers to order online from Tesco Direct and pick up goods in store.
The development, replacing a former Nisa store, is expected to open within the next couple of months.