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North East LEP ONS Regional Labour Market Statistics Reaction – October 2018

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 in the North East continues to fall. There are 18,000 fewer people unemployed than a year ago and 4,000 fewer than last quarter.

“Over the year, the North East’s unemployment rate has fallen from 5.8% to 4.5%, the largest decline of all UK regions and nations. This is good news for the North East’s residents.

“Over the last quarter, we have also seen an increase in employment of 6,000. This is positive news as earlier in the year we experienced some falls in employment. Such short term movements highlight the uncertainty and challenges in the global economy and we are likely to see more of these in the coming months.

“Looking at the year to June, there has been growth in employment across a number of different sectors including professional, scientific and technical activities (which includes activities in law, accountancy, consultancy, architecture and engineering amongst others) and transport and storage.

“As well as those in employment and those that are unemployed, there is a third group that is comprised of those who do not have a job but are not actively seeking work.

“The number of working age people (aged 16 to 64) in this group has increased over the quarter and the year. Whilst this may initially look like a negative trend, further analysis shows that this has been driven by an increase in people who are inactive and do not want a job (for example, because they are in education or they are looking after family or home).

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs.”