North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.
“Today’s statistics for the North East are mixed. We are disappointed to see that employment has fallen by 15,000 over the quarter. However, employment growth has been strong over the year as a whole with 25,000 more in work than a year ago and the North East having experienced the largest improvement in its employment rate of any region in the UK.
“Unemployment has declined over both the quarter and the year, with 21,000 fewer individuals’ unemployed than a year ago. We are particularly pleased to see that the North East’s unemployment rate has continued to decline over the last quarter given that it has increased across the UK.
“The decline in employment and unemployment in the North East over the last quarter has been offset by an increase in economic inactivity. Individuals can be economically inactive for a wide range of reasons including that they are in education, have health issues or disabilities that prevent them from work, have caring responsibilities or have retired.
“The number of working age people (16-64) that are economically inactive has increased by 15,000 over the quarter, although it has decreased by 8,000 over the year.
“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs and to help local residents to connect with available employment opportunities.”