Drop in claimant rate in Northumberland

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The amount of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Northumberland has dropped, as the latest employment figures were released today.

The latest employment figures show that the number of people in work in the North East from January to March this year stands at 1,182,000 – an increase of 14,000 compared to last year.

Unemployment for the North East stands at 96,000, which is a fall of 33,000 compared to last year. The 2.4 per cent fall was the biggest fall in unemployment in the whole of the UK.

In Northumberland, there are 1,464 fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance compared to last year.

A spokeswoman for JobCentre Plus welcomed the figures, saying that employment drives at Haggerston Castle and Whitley Bay Holiday Park had helped in the hospitality sector.

“People are who are interested in the hospitality sector, we’re giving them relevant training to make sure they have the right training for the interviews and a better chance of employment,” she said. “What we’re doing is trying to put everything in place to give that person the most competitive chance possible.”

Jonathan Walker, head of policy and campaigns at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “The labour figures show some great news on the unemployment front. There is yet another big fall in the number of people out of work in the North East and we can see a major improvement on the position 12 months ago. Our region also continues to improve at a faster rate than the rest of the UK.

“Our recent QES (Quarterly Economic Survey) results have shown businesses’ hiring intentions have eased slightly in recent months, which might offer some explanation for the small drop in employment numbers. This is likely due to uncertainty on the lead up to the General Election, which should now subside.

“The national figures continue to head in the right direction, with record employment numbers once again.”