Fewer claiming benefits in Northumberland

Benefit claims fallBenefit claims fall
Benefit claims fall
Fewer people in Northumberland were claiming unemployment benefits last month, despite the end of the Government’s furlough scheme.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics shows 8,145 people in the area were claiming out-of-work benefits as of October 14 – down from 8,380 in September.

That means 4.3% of the area’s working-age population sought support in October – down from 4.4% the previous month – and 2,675 fewer than the number of claimants in October last year.

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National figures – adjusted to account for seasonal changes – show the number of people seeking help fell by 82,000 month-on-month to two million in October.

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 unemployment rate also fell to 4.3% between July and September, down from 4.5% between June and August.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the latest jobs figures as being “testament to the extraordinary success of the furlough scheme”.

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But Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: “It might take a few months to see the full impact of furlough coming to an end, as people who lost their jobs at the end of September could still be receiving redundancy pay.

The Resolution Foundation think tank’s senior economist, Nye Cominetti, said: “The furlough scheme has kept a lid on unemployment throughout the pandemic and many have feared that its closure would spark a fresh labour market shock but early indications are that the jobs market has remained resilient.”