Unemployment among men in the Niorth-East falls by 7,000, but increases by 4,000 for women

The Northern Echo: Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham

A DIVIDE between the sexes is highlighted in the latest fall in unemployment in the North-East.

The jobless total in the three months between August and October fell 3,000 to 133,000, an unemployment rate of 10.1 per cent.

But while unemployment among men fell by 7,000 in the quarter, it increased by 4,000 among women.

The Northern TUC’s regional secretary Beth Farhat said the headline figure disguised a “far uglier truth”.

She said in the same period last year there were 47,000 women looking for work in the North-East, a figure which has now risen 32 per cent to 62,000.

“An unequal ‘recovery’ is no recovery at all,” she said.

“With more cuts still to come women [are continuing] to bear the brunt of austerity.”

While unemployment has been falling in the region in recent times, over the past 12 months as a whole it has risen by some 9,000.

Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham suggested that part-time seasonal jobs were responsible for the most recent fall in unemployment.

He said the unemployment rate in his constituency – 7.8 per cent - was the 39th worst in the country.

Mr Cunningham said: “There is no doubt in my mind that unemployment will go up again in the New Year when seasonal workers lose their jobs.”

The number of people in work in the North-East over the quarter increased by 7,000 to 1,178,000.

Ross Smith, director of policy at the North-East Chamber of Commerce, said confidence among its 4,000 member businesses was growing and he expected to see this reflected in employment figures next year.

However he said the North-East still needed to narrow the employment gap with the rest of the UK.

Nationally, employment hit a record high with more than 30 million people in work with the Government claiming the majority of the increase was attributable to full time, permanent jobs in the private sector.

Meanwhile, unemployment fell by 99,000 in the last three months.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “This shows that the Government’s long-term economic plan to get people off benefits and into work is proving successful.”

The overall drop in unemployment was mirrored in Yorkshire and Humberside where it fell by 6,000 to 239,000, an unemployment rate of 8.6 per cent.


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