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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market statistics reaction

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gives her reaction to today’s Regional Labour Market statistics.

“Today’s statistics are positive for the North East.

“Employment in the region has increased by 17,000 over the past quarter and by 28,000 over the year. And while unemployment levels have remained steady over the quarter, they have reduced over the year, with 7,000 fewer people unemployed than a year ago.

“Over the last quarter and year, the North East has seen the greatest improvement in the proportion of its population aged 16 to 64 that are in employment of all the regions and nations in the UK. The region has also seen the largest increase in its economic activity rate, suggesting that increasing employment opportunities in the North East are bringing more people into the labour market.

“These improvements also mean the gap is closing between the North East and elsewhere, a key objective of the North East Strategic Economic Plan.

“The increase of 28,000 more people in work reflects the hard work and ambition of businesses in the region.

“However, whilst the region has made significant progress, levels of unemployment in the North East are still among the highest of the UK regions.

“The North East Strategic Economic Plan sets out a range of actions that aim to deliver more and better jobs for the region and to support residents to access these. Given that we are entering a period of economic uncertainty, the North East LEP will continue to work with partners to help businesses scale and to create more and better jobs.”