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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 continues to grow across the North East region. Today’s data shows the number of people in employment has grown by 34,000 over the last year, with 11,000 more people in work over the quarter.

“Once a quarter we get more detailed statistics than in other months and today is one of those occasions. These additional data show that there has been growth in service sector jobs of 24,000 over the year. Within that, we are particularly pleased to see growth in the information and communications sector, which includes many of the region’s digital companies, and growth in professional, scientific and technical activities.

“We are also pleased to see that the manufacturing sector, which has always played a critical role in the North East economy, has grown, with 8,000 more jobs over the year.

“We are continuing to see unemployment decline. Our unemployment rate is now 5.2%, compared to 6.8% last year. This is the largest decline in the unemployment rate of all English regions over the year.

“The number of people unemployed is down 7,000 over the quarter and 20,000 over the year.

“There has been growth in both full and part-time workers and across both employee jobs and self-employment. This is different to the national picture, where self-employment has fallen. We have seen a decline in the number of workers with second jobs and the number of people in temporary jobs. Combined, these suggest that demand for labour is growing.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with partners to ensure individuals have the skills to take up the opportunities being created by the North East’s employers.”