Hundreds fewer claiming benefits in Northumberland
Hundreds fewer people in Northumberland were claiming unemployment benefits last month as coronavirus restrictions were eased, according to new figures.
Office for National Statistics data shows 10,175 people in the area were claiming out-of-work benefits as of mid-May – down from 10,945 in April.
It means 5.3% of the area’s working-age population sought support in May – down from 5.8% the previous month and also 1,675 fewer than the number of claimants in May last year.
The figures include those aged 16 to 64 on Jobseeker’s Allowance and some Universal Credit claimants.
National figures, which are adjusted to account for seasonal changes, show the number of people seeking help fell by 92,600 month on month to 2.5 million in May.
This period covers the reopening of outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail for the first time since December.
Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: “Job vacancies continued to recover in the spring, and our early estimates suggest that, by May, the total had surpassed its pre-pandemic level, with strong growth in sectors such as hospitality.
"Meanwhile the redundancy rate remains subdued, while the number of employees on furlough has continued to decline."
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our Plan for Jobs is working – the latest forecasts for unemployment are around half of what was previously feared and the number of employees on payroll is at its highest level since April last year.
“We understand the value of work and the distress caused by unemployment – which is why we are continuing to support people and jobs."