Jobless claimants figure falls by 20% in Sunderland

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The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Sunderland has fallen in the last 12 months.

Statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which include figures for July, show that 5,281 people in the city were claiming the benefit, compared to 5,343, in June.

The figure is significantly down from the claimant number in July 2014, when it stood at 6,645 people.

The UK unemployment rate for the three months ending in June was highest in the North East at 8.1%, and lowest in the South West region at 4.4%.

The number of people of all ages classed as unemployed in Sunderland fell by 20% the past year, with the figure for young people out of work down by 28%.

Janet McKee, of the DWP, told the Echo: “This is excellent news in terms of the number of people unemployed in the city. We had more good news for Sunderland recently that 60 call centre jobs are going to be created in the city centre at the Empire Theatre.”

The largest increase in UK workforce jobs for March 2015 was in the West Midlands, at 40,000, with the largest decrease in the South East, at 32,000.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, said: “Thanks to our long-term economic plan, the number of young people claiming unemployment benefits in the North East has more than halved over the past five years.”