North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“It is disappointing to see a decline in the number of people in work and a rise in the numbers unemployed over the last quarter.  We’ve seen the numbers in employment decline by 11,000 and the number of 16-64 year olds unemployed increase by 7,000.

However, it is worth noting that the North East’s labour market performance across the year as a whole has been positive overall with more people in work than a year ago and fewer unemployed,” said Victoria.

“In particular, the decline in the North East’s unemployment rate over the last year – from 7.6% to 6.1% – is the largest decline of all regions.”

Victoria added:  “Many other regions have also seen challenging results this quarter.  We will continue to monitor the data to understand whether this is the beginning of a trend or a short-term fluctuation. Nevertheless the results underline the need for continued investment to drive growth at this time of economic uncertainty.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan and to make the case that the Government’s Industrial Strategy must deliver for the North East.”

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