North East sees the largest decrease in unemployment rate

Paul Carbert
Paul Carbert

Employment in the North East has fallen over the last quarter but is up year on year, figures released today show.

The employment rate stands at 1,219,000 or 72.0 per cent – a fall of 15,000 over the quarter, but an increase of 25,000 over the year.

Unemployment stands at 69,000 or 5.3 per cent – a fall of 3,000 over the quarter and 21,000 over the year, but is still higher than the national rate.

Paul Carbert, policy adviser at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “The North East has seen the largest increase in the employment rate and the largest fall in the unemployment rate, of any region since October to December 2016.

“We must continue to focus on creating the conditions for economic growth and ensuring that the education and skills system is aligned with the needs of business.”

Steve McCall, employer relationship manager for Jobcentre Plus, highlighted that this month sees a lot of recruitment activity in hospitality, leisure and tourism ahead of the Easter and summer periods.

He added: “We also have opportunities to work with the Tall Ships Project in Blyth and are currently working with Prince’s Trust on a number of initiatives designed to help young jobseekers from across Northumberland to work with projects involving film-making and football, plus employers such as Greggs and Marks & Spencer’s.”