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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 statistics show a mixed picture. We are pleased to see that employment in the North East has increased by 11,000 over the last three months. This is particularly encouraging as employment across England as a whole only increased by 23,000 and many regions experienced a decline in the numbers in work over this period.

“More disappointingly, unemployment has also increased over this period. Over the quarter, the unemployment rate has increased from 4.3% to 5.0%. However, it is still below the level it was at this time last year (5.5%).

With more people working and actively seeking work, the numbers economically inactive have fallen over the quarter. The economically inactive includes individuals who are not actively seeking work for a wide range of reasons, including full-time study, looking after family and home, disability and ill-health, and retirement.

“Over the last few months we have seen considerable uncertainty in the economy and this is being reflected in the labour market statistics.

“One driver is the uncertainty about Brexit. It is important that businesses are able to plan for the future and we have worked with regional partners to launch a Brexit Toolkit that brings together business support, access to finance schemes and resources to help businesses with their preparations.

“The North East LEP will continue to work with its partners to deliver the Strategic Economic Plan’s ambition of more and better jobs.”

Ends

The Brexit Toolkit can be accessed here: https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/brexit-toolkit/

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