Claimant rate drops in Northumberland

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb. Picture by Chris Radburn/PA Wire.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb. Picture by Chris Radburn/PA Wire.

The number of claimants in Northumberland has fallen over the last 12 months, new figures reveal.

The data, which was released today by the Office for National Statistics, showed that the claimant count has dropped by 140, compared to this time last year, with the current figure standing at 4,385 in the county.

It comes as the North East’s employment rate is at a record high of 70.5 per cent, with nearly 1.2million people in work across the region. Employment in the North East has increased by 19,000 in the last year, while unemployment has fallen by 2,000 compared to 12 months ago. The current unemployment rate across the North East stands at 94,000, although the claimant count has risen by 1,300 on the year and currently stands at 48,300.

Jacqui Alderson, spokeswoman for Jobcentre Plus, said that the figures were good news and a real boost. She added: “We are doing really well in the North East and the hospitality sector is booming across the region.

“In Northumberland, there has been more work between local Jobcentres and local employers, which is helping to boost our local economy. In Alnwick, for example, the Jobcentre has been working with Pets at Home, which will be opening soon, and it has helped to build a relationship for when the company opens a new store in Berwick.”

Reflecting on the figures for the North East, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb, said: “Secure employment and a decent wage are key to transforming the life chances of people right the way across the country, so I’m delighted to see another strong set of figures this month.

“There are more people in work than ever before and wages are continuing their upward climb. There’s good news in the North East where the employment rate is at a record high of 70.5 per cent with almost 1.2million people in work. Our economic plan is delivering jobs and security right across the UK.”

Meanwhile, the national picture shows that unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate since 2005, while the employment rate has stayed at a record high of 74.2 per cent, with more people in work than ever before.

The official Office for National Statistics figures show that the unemployment rate now stands at five per cent and there are nearly 31.6 million people in work.

There are nearly half-a-million more people in work compared to a year ago, with wages before bonuses up by 2.3 per cent in the same period. The growth in employment is being driven by full-time work.

Today’s labour market statistics also show that the female employment rate is still at 69.2 per cent, the highest since records began in 1971; there are around 750,000 unfilled vacancies in the economy at any one time; and at 5.6 per cent, the proportion of 16-24-year-olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed has never been lower.