Fewer in Northumberland claiming unemployment benefit
Hundreds fewer people in Northumberland were claiming unemployment benefits in September than the month before, figures show.
Office for National Statistics data shows 8,380 people in the area were claiming out-of-work benefits as of September 9, down from 8,745 in August.
It means 4.4% of Northumberland’s working-age population sought support in September – down from 4.6% the previous month.
However, it was 11,365 more than the number of claimants recorded in September last year.
The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants, who are unemployed and seeking work or employed but with low earnings.
The ONS cautioned that changes to Universal Credit in response to the virus mean more people can get the benefits while still being employed, which could affect the figures.
It also said a small number of people who can claim both JSA and UC could be counted twice.
National figures, which are adjusted to account for seasonal changes, show the number of people seeking help across the UK fell by 80,000 month on month to 2.1 million in September.
The ONS said the number of payrolled workers rose by 207,000 nationally between August and September to a record 29.2 million – higher than levels seen before the pandemic struck in February 2020.
Different ONS figures show the rate of unemployment fell further to 4.5% between June and August, down from 4.6% in the quarter to July and the lowest level for a year.
Britain’s jobs market rebound has sparked speculation that the Bank of England may raise interest rates faster than expected, as it looks to cool soaring inflation, with fewer unemployment fears to hold it back.
While furlough came to a close at the end of last month, the data showed vacancies almost matching those left on the support scheme, raising hopes the UK will avoid any spike in unemployment.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “The jobs market continues to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, with the number of employees on payroll in September now well exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
“Vacancies also reached a new one-month record in September, at nearly 1.2 million, with our latest estimates suggesting that all industries have at least as many jobs on offer now as before the onset of Covid.”