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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.

“Today’s statistics show that the North East has seen a further decrease in the number of people that are unemployed, with 10,000 fewer unemployed than three months ago and 24,000 fewer unemployed than a year ago,” she said.

“Over the last year, the North East has experienced the largest decline in its unemployment rate of all the UK regions.

“Less positively, there has also been a decline in the numbers in employment in the North East region. The numbers employed has fallen by 37,000 over the last three months. As the region had experienced good employment growth earlier in the year, the overall decline in employment compared to this time last year is 28,000.

“Alongside the declines in employment and unemployment in the North East we have seen an increase in economic inactivity, with 50,000 fewer individuals aged 16 to 64 active in the labour market in the last quarter. This is likely to be for a combination of reasons including an increase in the numbers studying and those looking after family and home.

“A number of other regions have also experienced declines in employment over the last quarter and/or year but there is no clear regional pattern. Whilst employment has increased by 42,000 across the UK as a whole in the last quarter, this is a much more subdued national performance than we’ve seen over the last few years.

“Combined with other economic data that has been released over the last few weeks, this suggests that the UK economy is entering a more difficult period.

“Given these challenges, it is important that partners across the North East continue to work together to create the conditions for a stronger economy which delivers employment growth. We 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.”