Helen Golightly OBE, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Helen Golightly OBE, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

North East labour data “largely unchanged” reveals Office for National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released regional labour data including that of the North East highlighting its position is “largely unchanged”.

The ONS release includes statistics for the North East LEP area and its local authorities for the calendar year of 2021. Also included is quarterly data for the North East region (for the period December 2021 to February 2022).

Helen Golightly OBE, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This month’s figures show the position in the North East economy is largely unchanged from the last quarter.

“There has been a recent small increase in the number of people working in the region, with about 2,300 more people in employment than in the previous quarter, and there was also a decrease of 4,900 in unemployment. However, the working age employment rate has fallen slightly, suggesting that much of the employment increase was among workers aged 65 plus.

“The North East employment rate remains the lowest among the nine English regions, with the unemployment rate and working age economic inactivity rate both being the highest. The latter measures the number of people not in work or actively seeking employment.

“And progress in the past year has not matched other areas of the country. As we recover from COVID-19, the North East is the only region with a significantly lower employment rate than a year earlier, and the largest increase in the economic inactivity rate over the period.

“Looking at local data for the last year, employment in the North East LEP area decreased more for women than men, and we have seen increases in economic inactivity across all working age groups in the North East. There has been a large growth in numbers citing looking after family or home as a reason for inactivity.

“However, there is an opportunity to do more to benefit the economy and boost employment, with employers continuing to report demand in the labour market and difficulties in recruitment.

“Energy prices, along with a range of other price rises, are going to increase costs for families and we urge government to focus invest into the North East to encourage more progress in the labour market.” 

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