Sunderland jobless rate falls to lowest in almost 10 years

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The number of people looking for work in Sunderland fell to its lowest level in almost 10 years last month.

There were 4,942 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid only to those classed as actively looking for work – in the city last month, a drop of 272 on October.

The level is the lowest since monthly records began in January 2006.

Although the figure usually drops at this time of year, with a rise in seasonal work, Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman Jacqui Alderson was hopeful the count would not bounce back in the New Year.

“We have had a lot of people going into positions in the call centre and hospitality industries and these may well be permanent jobs, so it is difficult to predict” she said.

“We have also seen some high-quality vacancies in the Nissan supply chain, and we have Vantec’s new warehouse opening early next year.” Across the region, the claimant count stands at 47,800 or 3.9%, compared to a national rate of 2.3%.

North East Chamber of Commerce policy adviser Paul Carbert said: “It seems the unfortunate news on job losses in Teesside earlier this year are reflected in these figures, despite the positive signs of increased recruitment we have picked up from our members across the region.

“Yet again, the labour figures are generally flat, with some cause for concern in the stubbornly-high unemployment rate.”

“The North East is the only region in the country not to see a decrease in unemployment over the quarter, and the unemployment rate remains the highest of any.

“During September 2015 the number of workforce jobs in the North East decreased by 26,000, the largest fall in the country, however the majority of this appears to be due to a decline in self-employment.”