A record number of people are in work throughout the North East, latest figures by the Office for National Statistics show.
The figures, released yesterday, revealed that 1,214,000 people are employed in the region, which is an increase of 28,000 from this time last year.
The number of claimants in the North East is currently 47,000, which is a year-on-year drop of 2,400.
In Northumberland, there are 340 fewer claimants of Jobseekers Allowance than this time last year. The current figure is 4,695 and this equates to a seven per cent drop year-on-year.
The number of claimants aged from 18 to 24 in the county has fallen by 12 per cent. There is a total of 1,220, which is a drop of 165.
Reflecting on the regional figures, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “February is another record-breaking month as the employment rate is now the highest it has ever been, wages continue to grow and 150,000 more disabled people in work over the past year. People from all backgrounds, right up and down the country, are benefiting from our policies and now enjoying the security of a paycheque. In the North East, there is now a record number of people in work.”
The North East picture follows the national trend, where UK employment has reached a record high, at 74.1 per cent.
There are now 31.4 million people in work — up 521,000 compared with this time last year — and there are a record 776,000 job vacancies.
The unemployment rate is the lowest in a decade, at 5.1 per cent, and the proportion of young people who have left full-time education and are unemployed has fallen to 5.6 per cent— the lowest on record. The claimant count stands at its lowest in four decades.