Crossing the Tyne
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Jamie Hardesty

North East employment figures suffer 11,000 quarterly drop

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown a fall in North East employment although positives for the year remain.

For the period May to July, employment in the region has stood at 1,212,000 or 71.8% - a fall of 11,000 over the quarter but an increase of 7,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 75.3% nationally.

North East unemployment stands at 77,000 or 6.0% - an increase of 8,000 over the quarter, but a fall of 20,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 4.3% nationally.

Despite the recent decline, Paul Carbert, policy adviser at the North East Chamber, Believes the region remains nonetheless in a much better place than a year ago.

He commented: “Our Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2017 has shown that our members are positive about future workforce growth, and recruiting for permanent, full time roles.

“Almost half of the Chamber members responding to our 2017 Workforce Survey said that they have faced skills or labour shortages over the past 12 months.

“This indicates a need to align training and upskilling programmes, with business aspirations to open up opportunities for jobseekers. We will be calling for the Government to make this a priority in the upcoming Autumn Budget.”

Nigel Mills, Chairman of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, believes the latest figures paint a blurred picture for the North East.

He commented: “While more people are in work than this time last year, the increase in unemployment on last month goes against the national trend, demonstrating the need for more support for Scale-Up businesses.

“All net employment growth comes from businesses scaling up, so the most effective way of tackling unemployment is for businesses, local authorities and Government to work together to tackle the issues that stop companies from growing and creating more jobs.”

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