The North East economy is performing positively against a number of key indicators but the stubborn challenge of unemployment remains a concern, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said today commenting on the latest ONS employment statistics.
Helen Golightly, North East LEP Chief Operating Officer, said that the rise in the number of people out of work between last November and January was concerning, but that deeper analysis of data revealed a more buoyant regional economic picture.
“The North East economy is performing positively with a strong base making us more resilient to the challenges posed by a rise in unemployment,” said Helen.
“The longer term picture shows that the number of people out of work a year ago was a full percentage point higher than it is now and we still have near record numbers of people in work.
“Over the past three years, the number of full-time workers in the North East has grown from 804,000 to 857,000 – in the past 12 months alone 16,000 more people found full-time work.
“We’ve seen a particularly healthy growth in the number of young people finding employment and amongst people aged 50 to 64 in the year up to last September.
“There has also been a 20% fall in the number of 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed and a 15% drop in the number of 25 to 34-year-olds out of work during that period.”