City’s jobless claimant count up

The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in Sunderland jumped again last month as the introduction of Universal Credit continued.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 2:34 pm
The latest employment figures have been released

The new benefit requires a broader span of claimants to look for work than Jobseeker's Allowance did.

There were 8,360 people classed as receiving out-of-work benefits in the city last month, a rise of 110 on April and up by 2,490 year-on-year.

Across the North East, 1,200,000 people – or 70.7% are in work, a fall of 20,000 over the quarter and 26,000 over the year, while unemployment is 72,000, an increase of 7,000 over the quarter and 13,000 over the year.

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Steve McCall, of JobCentre Plus, admitted the figures were disappointing, but said there was still a wide range of vacancies available.

“HMRC, Go North East and Subway have been recruiting across the region, so we are still seeing jobs being created.”

North East LEP Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland said: “It’s very disappointing to see the number of people across the North East in employment has fallen.

“There has been a particularly sharp decrease in the last three months.

“Whilst it is unclear what is underpinning these negative trends, there is significant uncertainty within the economy which is depressing investment and this is likely to be a key factor.”

North East England Chamber of Commerce Policy Adviser Paul Carbert added: “Employment has fallen in the North East from the record high reached last year, against a national trend of rising employment.”