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North East closing employment gap – good progress but work still to be done


Oct 27, 2016

Richard Baker, North East LEP Head of Strategy and Policy, today welcomed the latest employment figures which revealed the continuing rise in the number of people in work in the region.

The Office for National Statistics data shows a record high employment rate in the North East standing at 71.1% – continuing to close the gap with the national average rate over the past year by two percentage points – and within 2% of the target set in the Strategic Economic Plan.

While unemployment grew slightly nationally between June and August this year, it fell in the North East by 8,000 people.

“These latest statistics show continued progress towards the target we set in the Strategic Economic Plan of growing the number of jobs in the North East economy and closing the employment rate gap with the national average,” said Richard.

“Other recent evidence suggests that almost 60% of the North East jobs growth is in higher productivity roles.

“Clearly, there are still concerns about making sure that people in less stable employment can progress into more stable jobs and we will be looking at provisional figures in this part of the labour market carefully.

“The overall picture though from today’s statistics is good news for the North East in that there are more employment opportunities for people who are finding work to move out of unemployment and into work.”

“Unemployment over the past year has seen a marked and welcome fall – down by 20,000 people which is an 18.8% rate fall compared to a 2.7% decline nationally.”

By Emily