Jobless figures increase

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THE number of people looking for work on Wearside has hit its highest level in a year.

New figures show there were 9,655 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the Sunderland City Council area last month, a rise of 190 on March’s figure and the highest level since last May, when the claimant rate peaked at 9,839.

School and college leavers were the hardest hit, with 110 new claimants aged under 25. There were 3,400 people aged 18 to 24 claiming the benefit in Sunderland, more than one in 10 in that age group.

Unemployment across the North East rose a further 4,000, taking the total figure to 131,000 at the end of March.

Northern TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said the grim figures show that the Government’s economic policy is failing to produce any significant growth in the private sector and they should halt further public sector cuts as job losses here will only exacerbate further the dire picture.”