Unemployment figures fall in Sunderland

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THE number of people looking for work across Wearside fell slightly last month.

There were 5,837 people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid only to those classed as actively looking for a job – in March, a fall of just 69 on February’s figure of 5,906.

“Workers have just been through the longest period of falling real wages since Queen Victoria was on the throne.”

TUC North East Regional Secretary Beth Farhat

The number of claimants in Sunderland is down from 7,596 last March.

Across the North East, the number of claimants is down 3,000 year-on-year to 47,800.

North East Chamber of Commerce policy and research manager Mark Stephenson said: “Yet again the North East jobs figures provide much to be positive about, albeit the pace of improvement seems to have eased.

“Our most recent Quarterly Economic Survey figures showed an easing of employer confidence with particular relation to hiring intentions. Taken together with anecdotal feedback it appears the uncertainty of a general election is impacting on investment whether in people or equipment.

“The national jobs figures have continued to make significant progress after something of a lull in recent months. This begs the question of whether the prospect of a general election is having the same impact in all areas of the country.”

TUC North East regional secretary Beth Farhat said: “Workers have just been through the longest period of falling real wages since Queen Victoria was on the throne.

“Wage growth remains weak today, with rising pay too dependent on oil prices being at rock bottom.

“We need a government that builds a far more stable foundation for decent wage growth than we’ve had in the last five years.”