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The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East 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.

In addition, Annual Population Survey data for the period October 2018 to September 2019 has also been released.  This dataset is available at the LEP-level and is used to measure progress against four of the North East LEP’s targets.

Senior Economist, Victoria Sutherland said, “Today’s labour market statistics show a mixed picture.

“Looking first at the regional labour market statistics, this shows that there has been a small decline in the number of people employed across the North East region over the last three months, with 2,000 fewer people in work in September to November than between June to August.”

“Over the same period, unemployment increased by 5,000, whilst the number of people that are outside the labour market – those who are not actively seeking work for a wide range of reasons, including full-time study, looking after family and home, disability and ill-health, and retirement – has decreased by 3,000.

“As we have previously highlighted, the last year has been characterised by a high degree of fluctuation with labour market conditions improving in some quarters and deteriorating in others. This fluctuation has been observed in all regions and nations of the UK, but the North East appears to have been particularly hard hit with the largest increase in unemployment rate over the last year. The North East is also one of only three English regions to have seen a decrease in its employment rate for 16 to 64-year olds.

“Looking at longer term trends, the North East LEP set itself a target of increasing the number of jobs in its area by 100,000 between 2014 and 2024, and for 70% of jobs created to be ‘better jobs’, defined as managerial, professional and technical roles. Today’s data covers the period October 2018 to September 2019 and shows that the number of jobs in the North East has increased by 73,100 since our baseline of April 2013 to March 2014. The increase in managerial, professional and technical roles has been 73,900 – meaning that all of the jobs growth has been in these ‘better jobs’ whilst there has been a small decrease in other jobs areas such as administrative and retail. There has been particularly strong growth in managerial, professional and technical jobs over the last year, with an increase of 24,500.

“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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