Further fall in unemployment figures

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

Figures released today show a further drop in the number of unemployed people in the Berwick constituency.

The news has been welcomed by local Liberal Democrats Sir Alan Beith MP and Julie Pörksen.

Sir Alan said: “The latest figures show that in the Berwick constituency, unemployment is continuing to fall. In May 2010, there were 1,216 people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, but by the end of September that figure had fallen to 730.

“The main aim must be to continue to help employers provide work and the Government is helping through initiatives such as the £2,000 cut in employers’ national insurance from April 2014, which makes it cost less to employ someone, as well as creating more apprenticeships which allow people to earn while they learn and gain real work skills.”

Julie Pörksen added: “This is good news for people in the Berwick constituency, but there is still more work to be done to ensure there are good-quality jobs in the area for people. That’s why I am working with Sir Alan to safeguard jobs at Lion House in Alnwick, and talking to local businesses about how they might be able to expand their workforce.

“I’ll also carry on fighting to stop the Conservatives bringing in their plans for regional pay. Nurses and other public-sector workers should not earn less than their colleagues in other parts of the country simply because they live in Northumberland.

“Northumberland is a great place to live and work and the Liberal Democrats are working hard to make sure there are good opportunities available locally.”

Meanwhile, NECC (North East Chamber of Commerce) Policy and Research Manager, Mark Stephenson, said: “The latest labour market figures provide encouragement, although rapid gains in employment seen throughout 2014 have eased. Nevertheless, there are 40,000 more people in employment than 12 months ago and unemployment has dropped compared to the previous quarter and figures from a year ago, reflecting positive numbers attained in NECC’s own Quarterly Economic Surveys.

“The challenge for the North East is to push our unemployment rate below nine per cent, a feat not achieved since April 2009. In comparison, the UK unemployment rate did not go above nine per cent at any point during the financial crisis or the ensuing recession.

“Once again North East claimant count figures have dropped, a welcome long-term trend stretching back into 2013. People are moving from economic inactivity into work, a key aim for policy makers must be to help reshape our labour market to ensure that employability among this group improves as numbers move into the labour market given businesses are struggling now more than ever to find appropriately skilled staff throughout many sectors.

“Nationally jobs figures remain buoyant, even if the gains made in employment were a little more conservative. Even so, the UK is close to breaking an employment rate record set in 1973.”

Today’s figures show that the number of unemployed claimants in Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency in September 2014 was 730. This represents a rate of two per cent of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 408th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment)

The number of claimants is 345 lower than in September 2013 and 51 lower than in August 2014. These data are not seasonally adjusted.