49% of neighbourhoods in Middlesbrough are considered to be in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in the UK - the highest proportion of deprivation in the country. Meanwhile, 36% of Hartlepool neighbourhoods are amongst this most deprived, up from 33%. These statistics imply that the area has seen an increase of deprivation in the last four years. Unemployment is currently highest in Hartlepool at 9.6%.
The Index of Multiple Deprivation considers a wide range of an individual’s living conditions and not just income. The percentage of population having qualifications (5+ GCSE grade A-C including English and Maths) in Middlesbrough was 51.2% (2016). Hartlepool had a lower rate of 47.6%.
"Deprived areas include the suburb of Walker, where crime is extensive, and the area of Byker"
26% of neighbourhoods in Newcastle are also among the most deprived, an increase from 22%. Deprived areas include the suburb of Walker, where crime is extensive, and the area of Byker, which is suffering from unemployment after the collapse of local industry. South Tyneside saw a smaller increase from 22- 25% being amongst the most deprived neighbourhoods, and Redcar & Cleveland with 2% increase from 22%. Over the last five years, Redcar & Cleveland has seen the largest fall in unemployment in the North East, from 13.3% to 4.9% which is a vast improvement.
Newcastle City Council's cabinet member for communities and climate change, Coun Clare Penny-Evans, said that “With our partners, the council works on many different levels to tackle poverty and deprivation in the city, but the devastating impact of 10 years of Government-imposed austerity cannot be underestimated. Coupled with cruel welfare reforms, it has taken a terrible toll on residents and families and this is what we are now seeing."
She further stated that "public spending cuts and benefit changes have had a profound effect on families but deprivation data such as this only hardens our resolve and reminds us that we are doing the right thing targeting help at the poorest parts of the city and in the interests of fairness we will continue to do that.”
"Unemployment rates in the North East have decreased to 5.1% as of 2019."
According to the Office of National Statistics, ‘the highest unemployment rate estimates in the UK for September to November 2018 were for the North East at 5.5%.’ This has now decreased to 5.1% in 2019. These statistics are largely due to the lack of opportunities available in the local job market and also various government cuts. The Councils within the North East have launched the Life Chances Fund in aid of disadvantaged residents who need to gain the skills and training in order to seek employment.