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Reaction to ONS regional labour market statistics – May 2021.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (North East LEP) Strategy and Policy Director, Richard Baker, has commented on today’s (18 May 2021) regional labour market statistics, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The official data released today includes employment information based on surveys in the first quarter of 2021 for the North East region, which includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. It also includes experimental estimates of payrolled employee numbers and job seekers claimant count numbers for April 2021.

“The headline North East regional data released today is encouraging after the challenges of the last year with signs of improvement in the labour market in the first three months of 2021. Employment increased by 14,000 compared to the last quarter of 2020 and unemployment decreased by 13,000. 

“However, this is just the start of the recovery and there is much work to do. Despite these increases, the figures show that the region has the lowest working age employment rate at 72.2%, compared to 75.5% across England. It also has the third highest unemployment rate in England (5.4% of the economically active) and the highest proportion of working age people who are economically inactive (23.5%).

“Over the past year, Covid-19 has impacted on the lives of many people in the North East region. About 32,000 workers have been made redundant since the start of 2020 and the number of payrolled employees in April was about 18,000 lower than in February 2020. At the end of March, almost 140,000 workers in the region were still furloughed. This meant that they were classified as employed in the official statistics, but in an uncertain position about their futures. About 44% of these worked in either food and accommodation services or retail, which highlights how important the impact of the changes to the rules which are now happening will be to North East employment trends during 2021.

“The latest job seekers claimant count continues to highlight large variations in unemployment within the North East LEP area. More than 30 wards, spread across all seven local authorities, have a claimant count rate of over 10 per cent, while a similar number have rates of less than a third of that. This count also highlighted that one in five claimants in the North East LEP area were aged under 25.

“As the controls on the economy are unlocked, the North East LEP will continue to work with Government and our partners to drive forward our vision of a more sustainable, competitive and inclusive regional economy.

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North East Local Enterprise Partnership reaction to ONS regional labour market statistics.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (North East LEP) Strategy and Policy Director, Richard Baker, has commented on today’s regional labour market statistics, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

“This release provides official data to the end of 2020 and enables us to see the full picture about the impact COVID-19 had on the region’s labour market in 2020.

“Looking at the figures for the last quarter of 2020, the number of unemployed people seeking work in the North East region, including the North East LEP and the Tees Valley LEP areas, was 18 per cent higher than in the first quarter of the year. The North East employment rate is the lowest in England at 71.2 per cent and 29,000 people were made redundant in the region during 2020, the highest total since 2012.

“In the later months of 2020, the labour market was less volatile than earlier in the year, but the statistics do not yet include the full impact of the restrictions since Christmas.

“In the North East LEP area, the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits has increased by over 30,000 since March 2020.

“It is important to look at the detail to understand where the biggest impact has been felt and to identify key future policy challenges. Overall, the impact has been highest in younger age groups and one in ten people are claiming unemployment-related benefits in some areas.

“Another striking feature is the different impact on men and women. Compared with the first quarter of the year, the number of unemployed women in the region has increased by 10,000 or 47 per cent, while male unemployment has grown by 2,000 (just over 4 per cent).

“Yesterday’s announcement from government gives a clear pathway out of lockdown and will offer hope for many people after a very difficult year. However, it remains an uncertain time for businesses as we move to cautiously lift the COVID-19 controls and continue to adapt to new processes following the Trade Deal with the European Union.

“Support for those businesses remaining under restrictions due to the pandemic needs to continue and strategic leadership and a strong partnership with government will be critical as we look to drive forward our regional economy and address some of the key challenges which COVID-19 has created in our region.”

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Regional health innovation experts help Dräger UK secure multimillion-pound PPE deal

Blyth-based Dräger is due to begin a lucrative contract supplying the government with respiratory masks following support from three key regional organisations.

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), the Innovation SuperNetwork and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) worked in collaboration to provide expert guidance to help strengthen Dräger’s pitch to government to supply the NHS with respiratory protection masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was announced last month that the government has now placed a multimillion-pound order with Dräger to supply respiratory protection masks (FFP3) over the course of this year and next.

The deal will bring investment and jobs into the region as the company plans to set up a mask production operation based in Blyth, Northumberland, alongside four other production sites across the globe.

Alex Duthie, UK Sales Director, Dräger, said: “The AHSN NENC were invaluable to our bid for the PPE Government contract. They were able to get our name to the right people and assisted in building our profile as an existing and trusted supplier within the NHS. Whenever an opportunity arose, the AHSN NENC, Innovation SuperNetwork and North East LEP were advocates of ours, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Innovation SuperNetwork contacted Dräger earlier this year after learning they were keen to open a PPE manufacturing plant in response to the growing demand for respiratory masks during the pandemic. The Innovation SuperNetwork then introduced the local Dräger team to the AHSN NENC, which is a key member of NHS England’s regional emergency response procurement cell.

The AHSN NENC worked closely with Dräger to develop a proposal around its manufacturing plans which was pitched to the regional and national leads involved in the NHS procurement cell.

In addition, the AHSN NENC also coordinated with NHS Trusts across the region to provide samples of Dräger’s products which received positive responses from the frontline.

Stephen Lynn, Business Manager at the AHSN NENC, said: “Gaining access to the NHS can be a difficult and daunting prospect for businesses. The AHSN NENC’s close links with the healthcare system allows us to act as a conduit to help open doors and speed up the process of innovations reaching the frontline.

“We are proud to have been able to support Dräger through this process and we’re delighted that the company is now in a position to expand its PPE manufacturing operation, which will bring vital investment and job opportunities into the region.

“This is a prime example of how by working collaboratively with partners across the region, we can quickly identify, develop and support businesses with innovations that have potential to make a real impact both within the health and care system and the regional economy.”

Steph Oxley, Innovation Manager at the Innovation SuperNetwork, initially supported Dräger and made the introduction to the AHSN NENC. She said: “The successful outcome for Dräger expanding their operation, after engaging with the NHS to understand the long term need for PPE, is a fantastic example of how collaboration across the innovation ecosystem can have immediate and long-term impact for businesses, industries and the local economy. The Innovation SuperNetwork works to embed innovation in key regional clusters, connecting industry with suppliers and enabling partnerships to further innovation and business growth. It’s great to see our intervention in this case led to such a positive result for all involved.”

Alan Welby, Director of Innovation at the North East LEP, said: “This is an excellent example of what can happen with strong leadership, a focus on collaboration and a determination to make things happen.

“It is fantastic to see Dräger secure this multimillion-pound PPE deal which will create many new jobs within the region – what a fantastic outcome from the crisis caused by COVID-19.”

Dräger’s order from the British government to deliver respiratory protection masks (FFP3) will start in 2020 and will stretch until the end of 2021. The expected net sales are roughly EUR 100 million.

A mask production facility will be set up in the UK, in the Blyth area of Northumberland. There, Dräger has had a development and production site for respiratory protection technology for firefighters and industry for over 50 years. This is in addition to the existing production network in Sweden and South Africa and the recently decided new production sites in France and the US. The investment in the expansion of production capacities across all five production sites will require a mid-double-digit million euro amount in the 2020 financial year.

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North East Local Enterprise Partnership reaction to ONS regional labour market statistics – January 2020

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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North East Local Enterprise Partnership reaction to ONS regional labour market statistics – December 2019

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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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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Multimillion-pound business support programme set to launch

North East businesses will benefit from the launch of a new multimillion-pound programme aimed at those who wish to diversify, broaden their customer base and unlock new market opportunities.

Supply Chain North East will see four key partners joining forces to work with over 800 businesses between 2018-2021 supporting businesses to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Growth Hub, Supply Chain North East will be delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP and leading the North East Growth Hub, said:

“Supply Chain North East has been created to enable more collaboration across multiple sectors. For example, often we see smaller businesses wanting to work within manufacturing or automotive but don’t know how to penetrate the market.

“Through this programme and the partners’ vast networks, we can give valuable advice delivered both at events and via one to one support to help them on that journey.

“A key benefit that businesses will gain is that they will build more diverse revenue streams, reducing reliance on a few customers and markets, which is particularly important with Brexit on the horizon.

“With new supply chain prospects in the North East, such as the £500 million Nexus Fleet Replacement Programme and opportunities further afield, this initiative has been designed to ensure our region’s businesses are well placed to grow their customer base, strengthen supply chain management and diversify their products and services.

“Supply Chain North East also focuses on helping businesses make the most of new technology to drive higher profits, productivity and innovation in new products and services.”

Alan Whittaker, Programme Manager of Supply Chain, added:

“We’re delighted to be delivering a programme that can make a real difference to local businesses in the North East by tapping into national and international opportunities.“All partners involved in delivering this programme offer businesses access to a vast amount of expertise and wealth of experience. It’s the strength of this partnership that will ensure Supply Chain North East helps businesses to thrive and succeed.”

If you are business that meets the following criteria;

Based in the North East LEP area (Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland) and are in the following sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Subsea, offshore and energy technologies
  • Automotive and transport
  • Health and life sciences
  • Digital, tech and creative
  • Process, chemical and pharmaceutical

Then join us for the launch event on Thursday, 24th January at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle. To register visit here >>

Visit www.supplychainnortheast.co.uk for more information or call 0191 516 4400.

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

ENDS

Notes to editor:

RTC services are designed to help clients innovate, compete and grow. Specialising in the commercialisation of new products and services, we work with individuals, businesses and the public sector to help create more innovative and vibrant economies.

Founded in 1989, the company has vast experience of helping organisations with all stages of the innovation and IP commercialisation process and uses this expertise to support partners at a UK regional, national and European level.

RTC is a lead UK partner in the worlds’ largest business support network – Enterprise Europe Network – and has established relationships with partners in Asia as well as North and South America.

ERDF

Supply Chain North East project is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

About the North East LEP

The North East LEP is a public, private and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas.

The £270.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Generator

Generator is the leading sector specialist development agency in the North of England.

The flexible and agile approach to supporting both businesses and creatives in the digital and music industries has kept it ahead of the curve when supplying business and talent development for over 25 years.

Starting out as an organisation seeking to navigate pathways for musicians, songwriters and bands to the national music industry and help strike meaningful careers in their chosen direction Generator has evolved into one of the only sector specialist business support agencies for the creative digital tech and music sectors in the UK.

NEAA

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) is an industry-led cluster group, established to support the economic sustainable growth and competitiveness of the sector in the North East of England.
Launched in March 2015, with over 330 cluster participants, the NEAA is the largest automotive cluster in the UK and one of the fastest growing clusters across Europe. The NEAA provides a single unified voice to key stakeholder groups and promotes the true value created by the North East Automotive sector.

NEPIC

NEPIC works with chemical-processing and supply chain companies to help them become successful and sustainable organisations in a business environment that enables them to grow. Through its established network, NEPIC provides business growth support to companies small and large via networking, events, mentoring, best practice, promotion and signposting.

 

 

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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.