Sharp fall in young jobless in Sunderland but thousands are still looking for work

JobCentre Plus
JobCentre Plus
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The number of people looking for work on Wearside fell for the third successive time last month.

There were 5,165 people claiming unemployment benefits - either JobSeeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit - in the city in June, a fall of 30 on the previous month and down 180 over the year.

We must now ensure young people leaving the education system, and older workers returning to the labour market, are equipped with the skills required.

Paul Carbert

Steve McCall, from JobCentre Plus, said staff had made a particular effort to tackle unemployment among young people, which had paid off.

“Overall, the claimant count is down by about three per cent from last year to this,” he said.

“But among 18 to 24-year-olds, it is down by about 18 per cent.

“The stuff we have been doing for them, such as skills academies, we are now opening up to all age groups.”

New opportunities in manufacturing, hospitality and retail were all coming up.

“There are lots of opportunities in this area,” said Steve.

Across the North East, the number of people in employment has hit a record high.

There were 1,205,000 people in work in the region in the three months to the end of May, a rise of 36,000 over the year.

The number of people classed as unemployed was 96,000, down 2,000 over the last 12 months, and 386,000 people were classed as economically inactive, a drop of 37,000.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “There’s great news in the North East where the employment rate is at a record high of 70.9% with over 1.2 million people in work.

“Clearly, good progress has been made, and I’m encouraged to take forward the agenda to create an even more resilient labour market.”

North East Chamber of Commerce Policy Adviser Paul Carbert said: “These figures continue recent positive trends, with a modest increase in employment and a decrease in unemployment.

“Although the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, we have seen a welcome fall in the economic inactivity rate.

“We must now ensure young people leaving the education system, and older workers returning to the labour market, are equipped with the skills required.”