Drop in people out of work in county

Unemployment has fallen sharply in Northumberland, new figures have revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, a total of 5,036 people in the county were claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in January. This is 27 per cent lower than 12 months ago.

This data was a little more mixed in Morpeth. Based on county council wards, the number in Morpeth Kirkhill went down from 41 in December to 30 last month.

In Morpeth North, the figure reduced from 34 to 32, but in Morpeth Stobhill, it went up from 48 to 54.

In the North East, a total of 103,000 people were unemployed between October and December. The region’s unemployment rate was eight per cent and it saw a drop of 12.7 per cent during the period.

Employment increased by 20,000 to 1,185,000 during these three months and those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the region in January fell by 2,600 to 49,200.

Pam Calvert, district communications manager at Jobcentre Plus, said: “As well as a general increase in employment, the work we’ve been doing with employers has helped to reduce unemployment in the North East.

“An example is the sector-based work academies initiative. It cuts out the middle man and the programme includes pre-employment training, a work experience placement and a guaranteed job interview with the employer.

“Morpeth-based Piramal Healthcare and the town’s Morrisons branch are among the firms in the area that have employed someone after they did a work experience placement.

“In Northumberland, we’ve been making sure that unemployed people have gained the necessary skills to gain employment in the seasonal tourism industry.”