Unemployment numbers up in Sunderland, while North East hits record number in work

The number of Wearsiders searching for jobs is up - but more opportunities are on the way thanks to the boost from Nissan and others.
The latest job figures have been released by the Government.The latest job figures have been released by the Government.
The latest job figures have been released by the Government.

The latest figures show across Sunderland there are 5,575 jobless benefit claimants, up 30 on the month and 355 over the year.

But across the North East, the Jobcentre Plus has seen a rise in the number of people in work has increased by 51,000 in the last year, which means a record 1.2million people are in work in the region.

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It is hoped the announcement that Nissan has secured the production of the new Qashqai and X-Trail and a recruitment drive by Go North East to take on 250 new drivers will boost the figures.

Call centre firm Parseq and Barclays at Doxford Park are also looking for new staff, while seasonal jobs in the run up to Christmas have also given those looking for jobs a chance to get a foot in the door with firms.

Discussions are ongoing with companies to run days where workers can find out more about opportunities, with a recent session held in conjunction with automotive systems and component firm TRW with the support of Sunderland College was hailed a success, with all those who took part offered an interview at the end of the event.

The development of the new Wear crossing is also promising to bring a jobs boost in years to come.

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It is the first time Universal Credit, a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income which replaces six existing means-tested benefits: Income Support. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, has been taken into consideration in the figures.

Steve McCall, Jobcentre Plus manager, said: “It is quite a vibrant labour market and there are a range of employment opportunities out there.

“In the run up to Christmas there are retail and leisure where there are seasonal jobs, but there is the potential they can ben kept on, while the news about Nissan is excellent.”

Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said: “Yet again we have a strong set of figures, with employment continuing to run at a record high and unemployment falling to a 11-year low.

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“Growth is being fuelled by full-time professional jobs while wages are continuing to perform strongly, which underlines the resilience of the UK labour market.

“There’s great news in the North East where the number of people in work has risen by 51,000 over the past year, with a record 1.2 million people in work.

“The measures we have taken have put our economy in a position of strength, and we will work to ensure more people can benefit from these opportunities as we build a country that works for everyone.”

The North East Chamber of Commerce has said it is pleased with the latest regional figures.

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Paul Carbert, policy adviser, said: “These figures give us positive news on the labour market in the North East.

“They show that participation in the labour market and the number of people in employment has increased in the past year, and unemployment has fallen by 30,000.
“Although we still have the highest unemployment rate in the country, the gap between the North East unemployment rate and the national average is at its lowest since 2010.”

Employment in the North East stands at 1,215,000 or 71.1% - an increase of 3,000 over the quarter and 51,000 over the year.

This compares to a rate of 74.5% nationally.

North East unemployment stands at 79,000 or 6.1% - a fall of 20,000 over the quarter, and 30,000 over the year, compared to a rate of 4.8% nationally.

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The claimant count stands at 51,900 or 4.1% in the region, while the national claimant count rate is 2.3%.