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North East Chamber of Commerce claims employment statistics are a "wake up call" for government

The North East Chamber of Commerce has claimed today’s ONS employment statistics showcase the region’s continued struggle to recover economically.

Jonathan Walker, policy director, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “This morning’s statistics should be a huge wake up call to Government about the challenges facing our region.

“While most parts of the country saw a fall in their unemployment rates, the North East was one of only two regions to see an increase, while our employment rate fell at the same time.

“Despite the rhetoric, the effects of ‘levelling up’ are yet to be borne out in this data. While this is obviously a long term project, the longer the gaps between regions are allowed to grow, the more daunting the task becomes.

Jonathan concluded: “Our own survey data shows that while businesses continue to bounce back from the pandemic, they face challenges in recruiting the right skills as well as severe headwinds caused by inflation and rising energy prices.

“If the costs of doing business are not addressed, then there is every chance that job creation will suffer.”

Employment in the North East stands at 1,184,000, a fall of 12,000 (1 per cent) over the quarter and a fall of 14,000 (1.2 per cent) over the year. The North East employment rate stands at 70.5 per cent. This compares to a rate of 75.5 per cent nationally.

North East unemployment stands at 72,000, an increase of 6,000 (9.5 per cent) over the quarter but a fall of 8,000 (9.9 per cent) over the year. The North East unemployment rate stands at 5.7 per cent. This compares to a national rate of 4.1 per cent.

The claimant count stands at 86,900 in the North East. This is a fall of 1,500 (1.7 per cent) over the month and a fall of 32,200 over the year (27 per cent). The claimant count rate for the North East is 6.1 per cent.

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