North East employment growth weakens at the end of 2016 after strong opening

Richard Baker

An encouraging year of economic gains for the region was tempered by a slowdown at the end of 2016, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said today.

Reacting to the latest ONS employment data, Richard Baker, North East LEP Head of Strategy and Policy, said:

The end of the calendar year saw our region lose some of the gains it made in the first six months, such as a falling number of people in work.

This should be seen against the backdrop of some uncertainty nationally and internationally which will impact on companies in the North East.

The number of people unemployed has continued to fall throughout the year which is positive news for the regional economy and its future resilience.

What is encouraging in today’s data is the number of people finding employment in ‘Better’ jobs –  managerial, professional and technical personnel – has grown and then held firm in the latter half of 2016.

The latest figures for the last quarter show that nearly two out of three of the new jobs being created in the North East are in those better job positions.

This number is ahead of the target set out in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan for the North East, and is key to helping raise our economic performance and long term competitiveness.