THE number of people looking for work on Wearside has reached its highest level in 18 months.
September saw 10,418 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Sunderland, up from 10,104 in August and the highest level since February last year.
It is the young who are bearing the brunt of the downturn, with the claimant rate among 18 to 24-year-olds running at almost 13 per cent, more than double that for the overall population.
There were 3,790 under-25s making claims last month, of whom 1,135 have been looking for work for at least six months.
The Office of National Statistics figures show the North East is the hardest hit by the recession, with an 11.3 per cent unemployment rate.