THE number of people out of work on Teesside fell by more than 300 last month.
A total of 28,902 people were claiming Job Seekers Allowance, compared to 29,236 a month earlier.
Local rates are: Middlesbrough 7,576 (8.1%); Stockton 7,261 (5.8%); Redcar 5,739 (6.7%); Hartlepool 4,627 (8%) and Darlington 3,699 (5.8%).
But across the North-east unemployment rose by 6,000 to 148,000, giving the region the highest unemployment rate in the country at 11.5%
And Middlesbrough still has the highest rate of unemployment across the North-east and the second highest rate in the UK, followed by Hartlepool in third position.
Nationally however, the Government was given some welcome good news on the jobs front when unemployment fell by 45,000 and the number of dole claimants dipped for the second month in a row.
The jobless total was 2.6 million in the quarter to March, the lowest since last summer, while the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance last month was down by 13,700 to 1.59 million.
The number of people in work increased by 105,000 to almost 30 million, but this was entirely due to a rise in part-time workers.
Almost eight million people are now in a part-time job, the highest since records began in 1992, while those working part-time because they cannot find full-time work increased by 73,000 to a record high of 1.4 million.
Self-employment has also reached a record figure of 4.1 million, up by 89,000 since the previous quarter.
Youth unemployment has also fallen, down by 17,000 over the latest quarter to 1.02 million.
There were 9.25 million economically inactive people in the three months to March, a fall of 35,000, mainly due to a reduction in the number of people under the age of 65 taking retirement.