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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 unemployment continues to decline, with there being 3,000 fewer individuals in the North East that are unemployed than three months ago and 22,000 fewer than a year ago,” she said.

“The decline in the North East’s unemployment rate over the last year has been larger than any other region of the UK, with the North East now having a lower unemployment rate than North West, West Midlands and London.

“Today’s statistics show that there has also been decline in employment, with 34,000 fewer individuals in employment than three months ago. This reflects a broader trend with six of the nine regions across England and Scotland all experiencing declines in employment over this period.

“There has also been an overall decline in employment in the past 12 months, although this has been more modest – 17,000 – as the region had experienced good employment growth earlier in the year.

“With a decline in both unemployment and employment, we have seen an increase in the numbers that are economically inactive. This group includes individuals who are outside the labour market for a wide range of reasons, including full-time study, looking after family and home, disability and ill-health, and retirement.

“The North East LEP 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.”