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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“We are pleased to see that employment in the North East has increased by 17,000 over the last three months. This is particularly encouraging as the number of people employed in the North East declined earlier in the year.

“However, the unemployment rate has also increased from 4.4% to 5.5% over the last three months. Whilst this is disappointing, the unemployment rate still remains lower than it was this time last year, when it was 5.9%.

“Given the increases in both employment and unemployment, we have seen a decline in the number of people who are outside of the labour market, by 31,000 over the last three months. People can be outside of the labour market for a number of reasons, including full-time study, looking after family or home, disability, ill-health and retirement.

“We have seen fluctuation in the North East’s labour market performance during 2018. This is being driven by the considerable uncertainty in the national economy.

“This uncertainty was also reflected in yesterday’s EY UK Regional Economic Forecast report that showed that the North East is the region with the lowest forecast growth to 2020. It is critically important for the North East that we move to a period of greater certainty so that businesses are able to plan and grow.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners throughout 2019 to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of creating 100,000 more jobs for the region between 2014 and 2024, with at least 70% of these being in managerial, professional and technical roles.

“We have recently worked with partners to launch a Brexit Toolkit that brings together business support, access to finance schemes and resources to help businesses with their preparations during this uncertain time.

The Brexit Toolkit can be accessed here: https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/brexit-toolkit/

If you have any further questions about this article, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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A statement from the North East Brexit Group

The North East LEP recognises that Brexit is a complex debate and that economic output is only one aspect of it, however the North East LEP has a responsibility to provide information on the economic outcomes in the most balanced and responsible way we can. We were therefore instrumental in forming the North East Brexit Group within the region following the decision to leave the EU.

The Group provides a collective, single voice to contribute to and influence the on-going national dialogue around the UK leaving the European Union. It is made up of members from business representative organisations, the education sector, trade unions, local authorities, the North East LEP and voluntary organisations.

The Group has monitored and prepared evidence about the potential impact of Brexit scenarios and related economic issues, incorporating evidence, views, experiences and responses of business, education and other organisations in the North East region, aiming to ensure that a clear and co-ordinated North East voice is heard.

In this work, the group has:

  • Published a response to the Migration Advisory Committee Call for Evidence in October 2017, which can be viewed here
  • Published a ‘key messages’ statement on what our regional priorities are to inform Brexit negotiations, available here
  • Published a meta-analysis of reports and studies examining the impact of Brexit on the North East economy and its key sectors, available here. The accompanying press release is available here
  • Responded to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry into post-Brexit funding, specifically the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, available here
  • Supported the development of the Brexit Toolkit which is now live on the North East Growth Hub, available here.

The North East Strategic Economic Plan, which will inform the Local Industrial Strategy, aims to create 100,000 ‘more and better’ jobs between 2014-2024. To date there are 62,500 ‘more’ jobs of which 78% are ‘better’ jobs.

The reports and evidence detailed above are available to inform the practical arrangements for Brexit and the potential impacts on the North East economy, and therefore on our residents and businesses.

If you have any further questions about this article, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“Today’s statistics show a mixed picture. We are pleased to see that employment in the North East has increased by 11,000 over the last three months. This is particularly encouraging as employment across England as a whole only increased by 23,000 and many regions experienced a decline in the numbers in work over this period.

“More disappointingly, unemployment has also increased over this period. Over the quarter, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.3% to 5.0%. However, it is still below the level it was at this time last year (5.5%).

With more people working and actively seeking work, the numbers economically inactive have fallen over the quarter. The economically inactive includes individuals 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.

“Over the last few months we have seen considerable uncertainty in the economy and this is being reflected in the labour market statistics.

“One driver is the uncertainty about Brexit. It is important that businesses are able to plan for the future and we have worked with regional partners to launch a Brexit Toolkit that brings together business support, access to finance schemes and resources to help businesses with their preparations.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs.”

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The Brexit Toolkit can be accessed here: https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/brexit-toolkit/

If you have any further questions about this article, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction – October 2018

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“We are pleased to see that unemployment in the North East continues to fall. There are 18,000 fewer people unemployed than a year ago and 4,000 fewer than last quarter.

“Over the year, the North East’s unemployment rate has fallen from 5.8% to 4.5%, the largest decline of all UK regions and nations. This is good news for the North East’s residents.

“Over the last quarter, we have also seen an increase in employment of 6,000. This is positive news as earlier in the year we experienced some falls in employment. Such short term movements highlight the uncertainty and challenges in the global economy and we are likely to see more of these in the coming months.

“Looking at the year to June, there has been growth in employment across a number of different sectors including professional, scientific and technical activities (which includes activities in law, accountancy, consultancy, architecture and engineering amongst others) and transport and storage.

“As well as those in employment and those that are unemployed, there is a third group that is comprised of those who do not have a job but are not actively seeking work.

“The number of working age people (aged 16 to 64) in this group has increased over the quarter and the year. Whilst this may initially look like a negative trend, further analysis shows that this has been driven by an increase in people who are inactive and do not want a job (for example, because they are in education or they are looking after family or home).

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs.”

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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“We are pleased to see that unemployment continues to decline, with there being 3,000 fewer individuals in the North East that are unemployed than three months ago and 22,000 fewer than a year ago,” she said.

“The decline in the North East’s unemployment rate over the last year has been larger than any other region of the UK, with the North East now having a lower unemployment rate than North West, West Midlands and London.

“Today’s statistics show that there has also been decline in employment, with 34,000 fewer individuals in employment than three months ago. This reflects a broader trend with six of the nine regions across England and Scotland all experiencing declines in employment over this period.

“There has also been an overall decline in employment in the past 12 months, although this has been more modest – 17,000 – as the region had experienced good employment growth earlier in the year.

“With a decline in both unemployment and employment, we have seen an increase in the numbers that are economically inactive. This group includes individuals who are outside the labour market for a wide range of reasons, including full-time study, looking after family and home, disability and ill-health, and retirement.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with partners to deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan and its ambition of ‘more and better jobs’ for the region.”

 

ENDS.

 

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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“Today’s statistics show that the North East has seen a further decrease in the number of people that are unemployed, with 10,000 fewer unemployed than three months ago and 24,000 fewer unemployed than a year ago,” she said.

“Over the last year, the North East has experienced the largest decline in its unemployment rate of all the UK regions.

“Less positively, there has also been a decline in the numbers in employment in the North East region. The numbers employed has fallen by 37,000 over the last three months. As the region had experienced good employment growth earlier in the year, the overall decline in employment compared to this time last year is 28,000.

“Alongside the declines in employment and unemployment in the North East we have seen an increase in economic inactivity, with 50,000 fewer individuals aged 16 to 64 active in the labour market in the last quarter. This is likely to be for a combination of reasons including an increase in the numbers studying and those looking after family and home.

“A number of other regions have also experienced declines in employment over the last quarter and/or year but there is no clear regional pattern. Whilst employment has increased by 42,000 across the UK as a whole in the last quarter, this is a much more subdued national performance than we’ve seen over the last few years.

“Combined with other economic data that has been released over the last few weeks, this suggests that the UK economy is entering a more difficult period.

“Given these challenges, it is important that partners across the North East continue to work together to create the conditions for a stronger economy which delivers employment growth. We will continue to work with partners to deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan and its ambition of ‘more and better jobs’ for the region.”

 

ENDS

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In conversation with North East LEP chair, Andrew Hodgson

The North East economy is front and centre of Government investment this week aimed at capitalising on our industrial strengths and building our infrastructure.

 

A series of announcements to coincide with the Government’s Cabinet meeting at the Sage Gateshead brings the prospect of new high quality jobs in the energy sector, faster more frequent journeys on the East Coast Main Line and extra funding and responsibilities for Local Enterprise Partnerships to help drive regional economic growth.

It represents a real vote of confidence in the North East and the course of action it is pursuing to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024 through investment into sectors of high business growth opportunity.

The Government announcements recognise the pioneering work being carried out in the North East to embed innovation into our economy.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult at Blyth will benefit from part of a £180m funding package over the next five years to bolster its cutting edge research and development activity.

The energy sector is a real North East success story and the North East LEP has just appointed Andrew Clark to lead work in this sector to help maximise its potential.

His knowledge and expertise as sector programme lead will be invaluable in bringing together public and private sector organisations to create a far reaching energy strategy.

A commitment by Government to invest £780m into major upgrades on the East Coast Main Line – to be completed by the early 2020s – is a great first step in giving passengers faster, more frequent journeys, which is in turn great news for new and existing businesses through improved connectivity to markets.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, also announced that the North East is among six areas around the country being asked to develop local industrial strategies to create more opportunities and growth.

The national LEP Review was also published on Tuesday which is a welcome move by Government. It provides clarity on the role of LEPs going forward and reinforces the benefits of a strong business voice in leading strategic economic policy and investments. Government are making available an extra £20m to LEPs to help deliver these roles including the new local industrial strategies.

The fact that these strategies will be developed across LEP areas is extremely positive and will support the on-going delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan.

The North East LEP is recognised by ministers as a strong LEP and we are well positioned to meet the roles and opportunities set out in the review.

The Government also confirmed it has laid legislation in Parliament to make the £600m North of Tyne Devolution Deal a reality and the LEP is fully supportive of devolution in the North East in order to bring more local powers and decision making to the region.

However, it is also very important to note that the North East LEP remains committed to working with all seven local authorities to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan with the goal of creating more and better jobs across the region, and to develop the new local industry strategy together for the region.

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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“We are pleased to see the continued growth of employment in the North East region,” she said. “Today’s statistics show that the number of people in work has increased by 13,000 over the last quarter.

“Over this period, we have seen a particularly strong improvement in the employment rate for 16 to 64 year olds, with this having increased at more than four times the rate of England as a whole and the North East having the second highest increase in the country.

“We have also seen a decline in the number of people out of work, with 8,000 fewer people unemployed than in the last quarter.   This means the unemployment rate has decreased from 5.2% to 4.6%. This is the largest decrease of any region in the UK over this period.

“Both of these trends are a continuation of the good news we’ve had on the labour market over the last year.

“We will continue to work with our partners to build on this progress and deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of ‘more and better jobs’ for the region.

“At a national level, the focus of discussion about today’s data has primarily been on wage levels. The data released does not provide a regional breakdown of wage growth. Improving the productivity of the North East’s businesses will help them deliver wage increases and the SEP’s programmes of activities on business growth, innovation, skills and infrastructure all contribute to strengthening regional productivity.”

 

 

ENDS

 

 

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North East LEP ONS Labour Market Statistics reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s labour market statistics.

“We are pleased to see the continued improvement in the North East labour market over the last quarter. This builds on the progress we have seen over the last year.

“There are 25,000 more people aged 16 to 64 in employment than three months ago and 31,000 more than a year ago.

“The particularly strong improvement in employment over the last quarter has resulted in the employment rate for 16 to 64 year olds increasing from 72.0% to 73.6%. This is the largest increase of any of the UK regions and a record high for the region.

“There has been a substantial improvement in recent months in the unemployment rate which has decreased from 5.3% last quarter to 4.9% this quarter. The decrease over the year has been even greater – with unemployment this time last year being 5.9%.”

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition for more and better jobs for our region.”