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North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist, Victoria Sutherland, comments on this week’s regional labour market statistics, released by the Office for National Statistics.

“The statistics once again show a relatively stable picture for the North East including Tees Valley, although the region has recorded a slight drop in the number of people in employment.

“While this figure is 2,000 lower compared with the previous quarter, it is still 8,000 higher than the same time last year.

“Looking at unemployment, we can see that there are 1,000 fewer people who are unemployed in the region – again, a slight decrease compared with the previous quarter.

“However, the number of people who economically inactive – that is people aged 16 to 64 who are not working and who are not looking for work – has risen by 4,000 this quarter.

“When we compare the North East region with elsewhere in the UK, we see a similar pattern across the wider North, with Yorkshire and Humber also experiencing a decrease in the number of people in employment and the North West employment rate falling this quarter.

“While the UK overall may be seeing a rise in employment numbers, it’s important that the Government recognises the picture here in the North and puts plans in place to mitigate the uncertainty we’re currently seeing in the UK economy, which is likely to be having an impact on investment and jobs here in the North East.

“The team here at the North East LEP will be continuing to work with partners in the region, as well as Government, to create more and better jobs for our region and strengthen our regional economy through the implementation of the North East Strategic Economic Plan.”

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