Jobless figures drop in Sunderland

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance continues to fall.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance continues to fall.

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The number of people looking for work in Sunderland dropped again last month.

The number of people across Wearside claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid only to those people classed as actively looking for employment – fell by 225 from April to May, from 5,722 to 5,497.

When comparing today’s figures with those over the last 12 months, the North East is still making remarkable progress in reducing unemployment and increasing the number of people in work.

Jonathan Walker

Year-on-year, the claimant count was down by 1,810 from May 2014’s figure of 7,307. Across the region, claimant count stood at 46,400.

Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns with the North East Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news, but said there was more to do. “When comparing today’s figures with those over the last 12 months, the North East is still making remarkable progress in reducing unemployment, and increasing the number of people in work,” he said.

“Although these numbers represent a slight softening in the improvements in the labour market we’ve seen recently, it is positive that the North East continues to reduce unemployment at a faster rate than the UK average.

“These numbers come at a time when we’re increasingly hearing that businesses are facing skills shortages and are struggling to hire the right people, but today’s figures suggest there are still talented people available in the North East’s labour market. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t get complacent.

“These improvements can only be sustained for so long before we face a real skills crisis in some sectors.

“We must continue to build a dialogue between education and organisations who have the potential to welcome future apprentices and learners to experience work first-hand.”