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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), 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 is for the August to October 2019 quarter.

Senior Economist, Victoria Sutherland said, “Today’s labour market statistics for the North East region are a disappointing end to the year.

“The number of people in employment has declined by 10,000 compared to the previous quarter and by 14,000 over the year.

“Looking at the decline over the quarter in more detail, it’s notable that this decline has been driven by fewer men in employment – with 16,000 fewer in work – whilst the number of women in work has increased by 6,000.

“Unemployment has increased by 15,000 over the last three months and by 9,000 over the year. The unemployment rate is now 6.1% and is the highest of all UK regions.

“2019 has been characterised by slower employment growth across the whole of the UK than in previous years and by fluctuation and variation across the country. The North East has been affected by the uncertainty in the economy.”

Commenting on the statistics, Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “2020 will be a key year for the North East. The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver more and better jobs for the region through the Strategic Economic Plan. We will work to secure commitment from the new government to unlock investment to allow the region to create new opportunities for businesses and residents.”

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