The North East region has seen an increase in employment for the second month running.
From October to December 2015, 70.4 per cent of people in the North East were employed, which is a total of 1,214,000 people in employment in the region.
This is an increase of 47,000 over the quarter and 28,000 over the year.
Paul Carbert, policy advisor at the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: “This is very encouraging news. This is the largest rise in the country for the second month running.”
However, employment in this area still remains below the national rate of 74.1 per cent of people being employed.
As a result of the increase, North East unemployment has fallen. And unemployment rates for the region stand at 8.1 per cent, with 107,000 people in the region being unemployed.
It has seen a fall of 2,000 people over the quarter but a rise of 4,000 over the year. The region also remains one of the highest regions for unemployment, with the national rate of employment standing at
5.1 per cent.
Paul Carbert, policy advisor at the NECC, added: “Although unemployment has decreased it still remains high compared to the rest of the UK.
“The number of people in our region aged 16-64 who are classed as economically active has risen over the quarter.
“This may be due to people re-entering the labour market after being on long-term sick or caring for a relative and have not yet found work.
“Nevertheless, long term unemployment is falling so the North East is definitely heading in the right direction.”
On a positive note, the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in the North East who have been claiming for over two years has halved since January 2014.
The claimant count stands at 3.9 per cent, compared to the national claimant count rate of 2.2 per cent, 47,000 people in the region are on unemployment benefits.