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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (North East LEP’s) Senior Economist, Victoria Sutherland, has commented on today’s regional labour market statistics, released by the Office for National Statistics.

The data covers both the North East LEP and Tees Valley LEP areas and covers the period from November 2019 to January 2020.

“Employment has increased by 9,000 over the last quarter.  However, due to more difficult conditions in the early months of 2019, there are 12,000 fewer people in employment than a year ago.

“Unemployment has increased by 1,000 over the last three months and by 15,000 over the year.

“Whilst todays statistics are important, we must acknowledge the current economic position we are in. Moving forward we know that COVID-19 and the measures that are being taken to prevent its spread will have a significant impact on our economy.

“We are working very closely with government to monitor the impacts on the North East and to ensure our businesses get the advice and support they need at this time.

“Business are being asked to complete this short survey to help us understand what support is needed and feed this back to government: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COVID19_Business_Survey

“The North East Growth Hub is working hard to ensure businesses have access to all of the latest information, guidance and support regarding Covid_19. This can be viewed here: https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/covid-19-coronavirus-toolkit

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Colin Bell