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The North East LEP today welcomed the latest labour market statistics which revealed a record number of people in work in the region.

Statistics released by the ONS today showed that more people are employed in the region than ever before, just shy of 1.2m. The North East is now enjoying its highest recorded employment rate at 70%.

The North East also witnessed the greatest employment rate increase in the UK over the past year as well as the largest decline in the rate of economic inactivity.

Unemployment now stands at 8% – down from 9.9% at this time last year – and the lowest rate since June 2008.

North East LEP Chief Economist Chris Milne said: “These latest statistics show that the North East economic recovery is quickening and being sustained.

“There are 40,000 more full-time workers in the North East than there were a year ago and 22,800 fewer people claiming out of work benefits.

“Our analysis shows that the record North East employment rate can be partly attributed to more women entering the labour market and getting work – and fewer out of work.

“The employment rate increase for women is larger than for men in the last quarter and over the past year.

“It now stands at 66.8%, up from 64% this time last year. There’s also a greater decline in the unemployment rate for women than for men. Female labour market inactivity has also declined at a faster rate over the past year.

“There’s also been a rise in employment across most age bands, the biggest increase being in the 50-64 year-old age group with 6,000 more people employed than in the previous quarter.

“Over the past year, the greatest employment increase has been among younger people.

“Our analysis also shows that the automotive, service, health, professional, scientific and technical sectors have driven the increase in workforce jobs in the North East over the past year.”

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