More Wearsiders out of work than last year

Latest out of work figures have been released by the Government.
Latest out of work figures have been released by the Government.
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More Wearsiders are out of work compared to a year ago, despite employment figures across the region hitting a high.

While the employment rate across the North East stands at 1.2million, latest statistics show 5,705 people were out of work last month - an increase on 5,260 in January 2016.

Jackie Alderson, from JobCentre Plus in the city, said the drop was disappointing for the city.

She said: "It has been a very mixed month. There's good news as the employment figures for the region are at a record high."

Jackie said in Sunderland a lot of work is being carried out to help get people into work.

She said: "There is an ongoing scheme of working alongside Nissan and the supply chains."

Jackie added that the city has also seen a rise in the number of jobs available in the hospitality industry and JobCentre Plus is putting a spotlight on that at the moment.

Also, staff at the centre have been working closely with customer services company in Sunderland, Parseq, in a bid to get more people into work.

Responding to the North East figures, Secretary of State, Damian Green, said: "With employment at its highest rate since records began, and unemployment at its lowest in over a decade, we remain in a position of strength.

“Our on-going welfare reforms will continue to incentivise work and make sure the system is fair to all those who need it and those who pay for it.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work are at a near record high of 1.20 million people in work.”

The North East employment data continues to follow the national trend of higher employment levels over the year to December 2016, although with a slowing over the last three months.

There were small falls in employment and increases in economic inactivity in the most recent figures.

Richard Baker, North East LEP Head of Strategy and Policy, said: “The labour market has clearly slowed nationally and the North East is following this trend.

“It continues to be encouraging that there are more full time jobs in the economy and that people are able to find more work. The latest annual data shows that full time employment in the North East has increased by 16,000 or almost 2% in the region, while part time has fallen by 2,000 or 0.6% over the year.

“It is a concern that there is growth in economic inactivity and this seems to be concentrated in particular groups in the workforce.

“Although the quarterly figures show a slowdown, overall employment continues to be up over the year.”