Unemployment in the North East has fallen by 20,000 in the past year – the largest fall of any region in the country – but risen compared to the previous three months.
Similarly, employment has risen year-on-year, but dropped when compared to the period from February to April this year.
In Northumberland, the claimant count has risen in the past year, although Jobcentre Plus (JCP) cautions that this is a natural rise as the statistics now fully factor in Universal Credit.
Compared to five years ago, the claimant count is down 44 per cent.
Jacqui Alderson, an employer adviser with JCP, said: “We are seeing a definite increase in the number of employers engaging with JCP and this is recruitment advice as well as opportunities we can pass on to our customers. Some major national employers are agreeing to take work-experience placements or run an employment-related course which all contributes to ensuring our customers are fully armed and able to compete successfully in the jobs market.”
On the figures, she added: “The North East is by no means top of the table and there is still a lot of work to be done, but we are definitely heading in the right direction.”
Paul Carbert, policy adviser for the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “The latest figures show a small increase in unemployment in our region over the previous three months, but an increase in the employment rate over the past year.
“The North East has seen the greatest fall in unemployment of any region over the last 12 months.
“Although the recent results are not as positive as previous months, we are still in a much better place than we were a year ago.”