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North East LEP ONS Labour Market Statistics reaction

Victoria Sutherland, North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist, today welcomed the continuing employment performance of the regional economy.

“Today’s ONS statistics show sustained and continuing employment growth and falling unemployment,” she said.

“Over the past year, the number of people in work has increased by 26,000 and 25,000 fewer are unemployed. Women account for almost two-thirds of the increase in employment, with an additional 17,000 women in work compared to a year ago.

“Amongst the 16-64-year-old population, the unemployment rate is 5.5%, compared to 7.4% last year.

“The employment rate is now 72.2%, up from 70.5% a year ago.

“Importantly, the North East continues to close the employment rate gap with the national average. This is one of the key performance targets in the Strategic Economic Plan, with the aspiration for the North East region to provide more and better employment opportunities in the decade up to 2024.”