Large rise in those in work across the county in past year

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The number of people unemployed across Northumberland has dropped by more than a quarter, new figures have revealed.

Announced by the Office of National Statistics yesterday, the North East region now has 27,000 more people in work compared to last year and in Northumberland, that equates to 26 per cent fewer unemployed people .

Young people are also feeling the benefit, as the same number of 18 to 24-year-olds are in work The North East has also seen the second largest annual rise in female employment across the UK.

Steve McCall, employer engagement manager for Jobcentre Plus in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, was pleased with the figures.

He said: “We have been doing a lot of work with young people over the last two years with specific schemes to help them get work.

“In one of those schemes, work experience, young people have had the chance to gain experience to put on their CV, but had ended up being taken on by employers because of their skills.”

He anticipates that the fall in unemployment will continue, but added that month-on-month figures will fluctuate.

Sir Alan Beith, Lib Dem MP for the Berwick-upon-Tweed Constituency has welcomed the news, but added: “There is clearly no room for complacency on the local economy and there is more work to be done to ensure there are good-quality jobs in the area for people. I am continuing to put pressure on Defra and other Government departments over the future of Lion House in Alnwick, and talking to local businesses about how and what they need to grow their businesses and create more work.”