The latest figures on unemployment and worklessness in County Durham have been released by the council, and will be available on the county website from tomorrow.
They are broken down into two groups. The first group, the proportion of the total working age population who are claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, is defined as “Claimant Count”. The second group, the proportion of the total working age population who are receiving Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance, and Employment & Support Allowance, is defined as “Worklessness”.
In terms of our own local area the “Claimant Count” is 3.9% averaged across the sexes, the “Worklessness” figure 12.5%.
Statistics are cold things, and can be used and misused fro a variety of purposes, by the most chilling aspect of the figures provided is the extent to which both the claimant count and the worklessness proportion in the Derwent Valley Partnership area have risen since last year. The increase in our worklessness proportion over that period seems to have risen more sharply than anywhere else in the county, and I’ll be seeking to understand that better, and the reasons behind it.
There’s also a lot of very detailed information on all areas at the Office for National Statistics website.