Paul Carbert, North East England Chamber of Commerce policy adviser said: “There are some really positive figures for the North East this quarter. The region has the highest level and rate of employment and lowest level and rate of unemployment since comparable records began in 1992. There is also a healthy fall in the economic inactivity rate, the largest drop in the country.

“The labour market in the North East has been steadily improving over the past couple of years. The Government should take action to ensure that this continues, by monitoring the costs to businesses of taking on staff, and ensuring that the education system is responsive to firms’ skills needs.”