Home / ONS labour market statistics

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).

“Today’s figures continue to demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 on our economy with a continuing decrease in employment and a rise in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits.

“The decision to extend the furlough scheme will protect many jobs for the future. However, it remains an uncertain time for businesses as a result of Covid controls and the need to continue to adapt to new processes following the Trade Deal with the European Union.

“It is essential that government continues to support the economy through the pandemic and invests to support the proposals in our COVID-19 Recovery Plan to enable us to drive forward our region’s recovery.

“The data released today covers the three-month period to November 2020. Employment continued to decrease during this time, both nationally and in the North East. The employment rate for the North East region, including the North East LEP and the Tees Valley LEP areas, was the lowest in England at 71.2 per cent. Both the unemployment rate and the number of working age people outside the labour market were much higher than they were between March and May 2020. The number of people being made redundant was at its highest level since 2009.

“In the North East LEP area, the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits has increased by over 31,000 since March, with rates at 10 per cent in some areas. Employment in the region has fallen in most age groups, but the largest impact appears to have been on those aged under 25 and among 50 to 64-year-olds.

“These statistics include the November lockdown period but do not include the impact of the restrictions since Christmas.

“Strategic leadership and a strong partnership with government is more critical than ever – we will work closely with government to ensure that support for businesses is reflective of the need of our region.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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).

“Today’s figures show a national surge in unemployment as employers prepared for the end of the furlough scheme. The North East region now has the highest rate of unemployment in the country which is extremely concerning – especially as this month’s data does not yet take account the impact of the current tighter restrictions.

“The unemployment figure for the North East region, including the North East LEP and the Tees Valley LEP areas, was at 6.7 per cent at the end of September, compared to 4.8 per cent nationally. The North East LEP area has seen the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits increase by over 60 per cent since March. A big concern is the large rise in younger people aged 16-24 not in employment across the UK.

“Our businesses continue to work hard to keep their teams together, but we are faced with a stop-start recovery, where ongoing support will be critical for business and for jobs. We welcome government’s recent decision extend the support available to the economy and will be monitoring its impact closely as we move into the winter.

“Strategic leadership and a strong partnership with government is more critical than ever – we need to ensure that support for businesses is reflective of the need of our region.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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).

“Looking at today’s regional labour market statistics, the most important factor to note is that government support schemes have helped keep a significant number of people in employment since March. Data from HMRC shows more than 250,000 people in the North East LEP area have been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and a further 54,000 self-employed people received government grants.

“Going into lockdown, the data shows that the North East region’s labour market was making further progress towards bridging the employment rate gap with other parts of the country. However, we know that the labour market is severely disrupted and that this is not the current position for our region, and the 55% increase in the number of people claiming Universal Credit in the North East LEP area since March 2020 is a clear warning about future risks. Whilst numbers here may be lower than increases seen across England as a whole, they do highlight the reality of the situation for many people in our region.

“Unfortunately, standard ONS employment data does not currently provide the analysis we need to assess the overall current status of regional and local labour markets. Looking at the national level as an indicator, the data suggests that the UK has around 650,000 fewer employees on payrolls than in March 2020 and that, in June, there were approximately half a million employees away from their jobs specifically for coronavirus-related reasons that were receiving no pay while their job was on hold. 

“We cannot, therefore, come to a definitive view about the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on employment figures. It will only be when government support packages end that we begin to see the true picture, and this combination of data shows the importance of a carefully designed approach to winding down Government support and the importance of boosting economic activity.

“The North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group, which was set up by the North East LEP, our Combined Authorities, Business and Universities to support the regions economy through the coronavirus pandemic, recently published a summary report highlighting its approach to help stabilise the economy. Protecting people’s jobs and supporting businesses to retain staff will be vital in the coming months, otherwise we can expect unemployment figures to rise significantly in the latter part of the year.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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

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).

The headline North East data includes both the North East LEP and Tees Valley LEP areas. It is based on interviews throughout the three-months from January to March 2020 and uses the internationally-agreed definition of employment that includes workers temporarily absent from a job. Furloughed workers and non-working self-employed people with a reasonable expectation of returning to their jobs are classified as employed in today’s data.

“Most of the data in today’s release relates to a period before the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were put in place. It provides useful insights into how our labour market was performing through the first quarter of 2020.

“Overall, the data for this quarter was encouraging for the North East region, as employment increased by 28,000 compared to the previous three months, with unemployment falling by 8,000 and economic inactivity decreasing by 19,000. The latter is a broad group of people 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 quarter, the North East was the English region that had the largest increase in the employment rate of those aged 16 to 64 and the biggest fall in the adult unemployment rate. However, despite these encouraging trends, the employment rate was still the lowest, and the unemployment rate the highest, among the nine English regions.

“Whilst today’s statistics are important, it is clear that the measures being taken in response to COVID-19 are having a significant impact on our economy and that future reports are very likely to tell a different story with respect of our labour market. Today’s DWP benefit statistics give an indication of the scale of the impact, with the number of people on Universal Credit in the North East LEP area increasing by 43,000 (35%) between 12 March and 9 April.”

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), CBI, representing the business community, North of Tyne and North East Combined Authorities have come together to form the North East COVID-19 Economic Response Group to provide maximum support for businesses in the immediate term and to plan for long-term economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure the region has strong and collaborative economic leadership as we work through the impacts of the measures introduced to slow the spread of the virus.

The immediate focus is on supporting businesses to remain operational, to keep people in employment and to work with partners to solve industry challenges, however our Recovery Plan will aim to ensure the economy returns to a positive trajectory in terms of sustainable growth and employment as quickly as possible once the controls on economic activity are lifted

By coordinating one response to the current economic crisis, we will use our collective influence to reassure the North East public, deliver crucial interventions and lobby Government

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

Business are also 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

Ends.

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (North East LEP) 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 is for the final quarter of 2019.

“Employment has fallen, with 12,000 fewer people in work between October and December 2019 than in the previous quarter, and 13,000 fewer than in the same period in 2018. The sharp decline over the last quarter is disappointing news for the North East. It reflects part of a broader trend with the North East being one of four English regions (Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, South West) to experience a decline in employment over the last quarter.

“Within this overall trend, the number of women employed has increased over the quarter by 7,000, while the number of men in employment has declined by 19,000. It is unclear at the moment what is driving these differing trends.

“Unemployment increased by 3,000 over the quarter and by 9,000 over the year, increasing the unemployment rate from 5.4% to 6.1%. The North East is the English region with the highest unemployment rate. Again, the trends differ across genders, with male unemployment increasing over both the quarter and the year, whilst female unemployment has fallen.

“Combined, these figures suggest the North East labour market is less strong than it was a year ago.

“It will be critically important that the North East Local Enterprise Partnership continues to work with partners across the region to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs. The Strategic Economic Plan is the region’s plan for delivering economic growth, but we cannot do it alone. We hope that the upcoming Budget prioritises those investments that partners in the region have highlighted to government as being important to driving growth in our economy.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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

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

“Today’s statistics show that the number of people in employment in the North East region – which includes both the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas – has increased by 6,000 over the last three months.

“Combined with statistics released last month that showed between March and June, the North East was the region in the UK with the largest increase in filled jobs, this suggests the regional labour market has begun to strengthen after a period of declining employment earlier in the year.

“Whilst the number of people in employment has increased, the number participating in the labour market has grown even faster. As a result, unemployment has also increased with 3,000 more people unemployed than last quarter.

“As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, there remains significant uncertainty in the economy.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with partners in the region, as well as Government, to create more and better jobs for our region and to support residents to access good quality employment opportunities.”

For the latest information and guidance on how businesses can prepare for Brexit, visit the North East Growth Hub’s free Brexit Toolkit.

Home / ONS labour market statistics

North East LEP ONS Labour Market Statistics reaction

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

“4,000 more people in the North East are in employment than three months ago. This is a positive result for the region and recent increases in employment have largely offset the declines we saw in early 2018.

“Looking at the data in more detail, there has been particularly strong growth in employment amongst younger age groups.

“Disappointingly, today’s labour market statistics also show unemployment has increased by 6,000 over the quarter, and by 2,000 over the year. A number of other regions have seen a similar increase.

“With both employment and unemployment increasing over the quarter, there are fewer people economically inactive; a broad group that includes those who are outside the labour market because they are in education, have health issues or disabilities that prevent them from work, have caring responsibilities, or have retired. However, there has been growth in the numbers aged 50 and over that are inactive.

“As previously noted, there has been a high degree of fluctuation in the North East’s labour market performance over the last 12 months. Considerable uncertainty in the national economy is one of the factors contributing to this fluctuation, with data showing that across the UK, there have been three consecutive quarter-on-quarter declines in business investment. It is 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 has addressed these issues through its updated Strategic Economic Plan, which was published last week (Thursday 14 February). It recognises the economic and political changes that have influenced our regional economy and how we can respond to them in a positive way to deliver more and better jobs for the North East.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

North East LEP 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 that today’s data shows that employment continues to rise in the North East.

“The number of people in the North East in work has increased 2,000 over the quarter and 27,000 over the year.

“There has been particularly strong growth in employment in professional, scientific and technical activities (such as law, accountancy and architecture); accommodation and food services (such as hotels, restaurants and bars); agriculture, forestry and fishing; and arts, entertainment and recreation.

“The increase in employment opportunities has resulted in the number of people that are unemployed falling. The unemployment rate for 16 to 64 year olds is now 5.0%, compared to 6.7% a year ago and 8.0% two years ago.

“The North East has experienced the largest decrease in its unemployment rate of all English regions over the last year. It was also the region with the largest increase in its employment rate.

“Whilst our progress is great news, there is still more to be done. The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs for the region.”

Home / ONS labour market statistics

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 for the North East are mixed. We are disappointed to see that employment has fallen by 15,000 over the quarter. However, employment growth has been strong over the year as a whole with 25,000 more in work than a year ago and the North East having experienced the largest improvement in its employment rate of any region in the UK.

“Unemployment has declined over both the quarter and the year, with 21,000 fewer individuals’ unemployed than a year ago. We are particularly pleased to see that the North East’s unemployment rate has continued to decline over the last quarter given that it has increased across the UK.

“The decline in employment and unemployment in the North East over the last quarter has been offset by an increase in economic inactivity. Individuals can be economically inactive for a wide range of reasons including that they are in education, have health issues or disabilities that prevent them from work, have caring responsibilities or have retired.

“The number of working age people (16-64) that are economically inactive has increased by 15,000 over the quarter, although it has decreased by 8,000 over the year.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs and to help local residents to connect with available employment opportunities.”