Among them is Rosita, 27, who has just filled out a form attesting that she is searching for employment. A Lithuanian immigrant, Rosita has lived in England for two-and-a-half-years. When asked if the government and job centres provide enough help, she agrees - to a point.
“I think they are doing well with people who are active in their research," she explains. "I have a meeting every two months where they tell me what I am doing, good or wrong. But the government should focus on people who do not want to find a job." Like most of the job seekers that day, she refuses to be photographed for this article.
“Write whatever you want on your website”
When they arrive at the job centre, job-seekers express different attitudes. A few walk confidently in the building. But many walk resignedly and avoid reporters.
Andrew smokes a cigarette agitatedly in front of the office's automatic doors. “I have been looking for a job since I was 16; and I am now 28. But you know, they give us only sh**ty jobs. I'm sick of coming to this place."He continues angrily: “the government should give jobs to people from this country and not accept so many foreigners.” He throws his cigarette away and concludes “write whatever you want on your website".
Over the day the flow of people walking through the job centre's doors diminish, but remains continuous. Some job applicants come alone. Some are dropped off by a car before they rush into the building. Couples and families arrive together. A majority of them are young: one in four people aged between 16 and 24 don't find work in the north-east. Rhys, 21 (see picture left) has attended the job centre for two months. Today he visits with one of his friends. He argues that “the government is not doing half of what it should do for job seekers. Rich people are always getting richer and at the same time, we just get stuck”.
The north-east has the highest unemployment rate in England - 10% - compared to a nationwide average of 7.8%. In the last months, the Labour and the Conservative parties have fought over ways to make the whole country benefit from the economic recovery observed in the southern part of England and especially London. In the months leading up to the 2015 General Election, poverty and austerity - and each party's response to them - are likely to become all-important.