THE number of people looking for work on Wearside has fallen to its lowest level in more than five years.
There were 7,596 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid to those classed as actively looking for employment – last month, a fall of 308 on February’s tally of 7,904.
The figure is the lowest since November 2008, when there were 7,361 people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance in the city.
North East Chamber of Commerce policy and research manager Mark Stephenson said: “Across all measures, the North East jobs market is improving in health and, while we still need to catch up with other regions, we shouldn’t look past the real progress that is being made.”
“Businesses in the North East are in bullish mood, particularly in the manufacturing sector. However, the rise in employment does not come without challenges, not least of all the fact that good staff will be in shorter supply and this in turn will place pressures upon wage costs.”
Employment minister Esther McVey, who was in the region yesterday, welcomed news of a national fall in unemployment: “More young people are in work, more women are in work, wages are going up, and more and more businesses are hiring – and it’s a credit to them that Britain is working again. But there is still more to do – which is why I’d go even further and call on more employers to work with us to tap into the talent pool the UK offers.”