Wearside jobless up to 9,630

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NEARLY 10,000 people are looking for work on Wearside.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show there were 9,630 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Sunderland last month. Just over half were aged between 25 and 50, but one in three was under 25.

The latest figures mean 5.2 per cent of those classed as economically active across the city are looking for work, compared to a rate of five per cent across the North East and 3.7 per cent nationally.

Northern TUC Regional Secretary Kevin Rowan said: “These desperately disappointing unemployment figures were only to be expected in light of the Government’s slash and burn economic policies.”

Ross Smith, head of policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “If this picture is to change, the Government needs to take steps to support the business community in creating employment opportunities.”

Nationally, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased to 1.46 million. The youth unemployment rate is now 20.5 per cent, at 965,000, the highest since records began in 1992.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the figures were a “matter of great regret” but said youth unemployment had been a long-term problem, and the Government was taking action to improve education and back to work schemes.