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North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Senior Economist Victoria Sutherland gave her reaction to today’s regional labour market statistics.

“Today’s figures show a broadly stable picture. The number of people in employment in the North East region, including Tees Valley, is 4,000 higher than in the last quarter – this is a small increase but one that we welcome, especially given recent volatility here and elsewhere.

“Compared with the same period last year, again we see a small increase, with 2,000 more people in employment.

“In terms of unemployment and economic inactivity, levels of unemployment have remained steady compared with the last quarter. Economic inactivity, which is measured as people aged 16 to 64 who are not in work and are not looking for work, has remained broadly stable over both the last quarter and the last year.

“Across the rest of the North we can see that there have been large decreases in the number of people in employment during the last quarter. This illustrates the uncertainty within the economy.

“Also released today is data showing employment trends for the North East LEP area only. Creating 100,000 more and better jobs in the North East LEP area by 2024 is a key target of the North East Strategic Economic Plan. Today’s figures show that, since 2014, 74,900 jobs have been added to the North East economy – meaning that we are 75% of the way towards achieving our target.

“The team here at the North East LEP will continue to work with our partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan and its ambition of more and better jobs for people here in our region.”

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Andrew Hodgson at the North East Local Industrial Strategy Summit