North East economy strengthened with more people in work
Posted by Jamie Hardesty on 21 Jan 2016
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown a record number of people in work and fewer people without a job in the North East employment.
The report revealed that employment in the region stands at 1,202,000 or 69.8% - an increase of 38,000 over the quarter and 23,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 74% nationally.
North East unemployment stands at 104,000 or 7.9% - a fall of 6,000 over the quarter and 6,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 5.1% nationally.
The claimant count, however, stands at 47,700 or 3.9% in the North East, higher than the national figure of 2.3%.
Paul Carbert, Policy Advisor at the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: “After the particularly worrying labour statistics released towards the end of last year, it certainly looks as though our region is starting to turn a corner. The North East has seen the largest rise in employment in the country, reporting 1.7% over the last three months.
“These results are better news than we have seen for a while; nevertheless, they also highlight a potential disparity between the regions of the Northern Powerhouse.“
North East LEP economist Fiona Thom said: “Over the longer term, economic inactivity remains fairly constant but the reasons for the inactivity are changing, with an increasing proportion of people looking after family and or home and the proportion of those with ill health, which is a key challenge in the North East, slowly falling.
“This is good news for the region, with more people in work than ever before. We want to continue this and will be analysing the data closely over coming months to determine if we are beginning to see an upward longer term trend in the North East labour market.“
Stephen Hall, office senior partner at Deloitte in Newcastle, said: “Job creation has been the standout success for the UK economy since the recession. Record employment, tumbling unemployment rates and soaring vacancies testify to a job-rich recovery.
“But the missing link is strong and sustained wage growth. With inflation likely to edge higher this year, earnings need to bounce back to maintain consumer spending power and the momentum of growth.“