1.21m people in work in the region

Employment in the North East is at a near-record high.
Employment in the North East is at a near-record high.

A near-record high of 1.21million people are in work in the North East, new figures reveal.

The latest Labour Market Statistics were announced yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.

The data shows that 12,000 more people are in work across the region compared to this time last year.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stands at 83,000. It represents a year-on-year drop of 1.6 per cent; the largest regional fall in the country. Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds, described the North East figures as great news.

A Jobcentre spokesman said that the statistics are representative of the North East labour market, where ‘a lot of different sectors are recruiting for full-time, permanent jobs’.

He added that there are ‘a lot of opportunities across the region’, particularly in retail and hospitality. He said that in Northumberland, various venues such as Haggerston Castle Holiday Park, near Berwick, have been actively recruiting.

Nationally, the employment rate is at 74.6 per cent, with 31.84million people in work – an increase of 312,000 on the year and the joint highest rate since records began in 1971.

The Office for National Statistics has also announced that the unemployment rate remains low at 4.7 per cent. It has not been lower since 1975.

Full-time work continues to be the driving force behind the rise in employment. Average weekly wages grew by 2.3 per cent, including bonuses over the last year. Wage growth has remained above two per cent every month since the beginning of 2016.

Secretary of State Damian Green said: “This is another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before.”