Chamber statement on today’s labour statistics

Author - Niamh Corcoran

Date published:

Niamh Corcoran, policy adviser, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: 

“Statistics show, once again, that the region is recovering from the economic crisis, with the unemployment rate declining by 1.3% over the year, the largest change in the country. While unemployment has decreased, employment levels are recovering at a slower pace, having fallen by 2.1% over the year. In part, this may be explained by a decline in migration and a decline in older women, men in their 50s, and students entering the workforce- partly due to ill health.

“Nationally, job vacancies have hit a twenty-year high of 1.1 million in the last quarter. There is a risk that acute staff and skills shortages will stall the region’s economic recovery. To support businesses in finding the skilled workers they need, Government needs to add jobs to the Shortage Occupations List and create temporary migration routes for workers from overseas. 

“A significant effort is also needed to improve the quality and quantity of the domestic labour force. Government should tackle the barriers to training and employment that many face, such as ill-health or caring responsibilities. In addition, targeted employment support is needed for the long-term unemployed, as well as individuals who are frequently left out of the labour market, such as those who are disabled or older. 

“To ensure the workforce can meet future business skills needs, companies must invest now in employee skills and work more closely with education providers to develop a strong local talent pipeline.”


Employment in the North East stands at 1,157,000, a fall of 10,000 (0.9%) over the quarter and a fall of 10,000 (0.9%) over the year. The North East employment rate stands at 71.5%. This compares to a rate of 75.3% nationally.

North East unemployment stands at 66,000, a fall of 9,000 (11.6%) over the quarter and a fall of 19, 000 (22%) over the year. The North East unemployment rate stands at 5.2%. This compares to a national rate of 4.5%.

The claimant count stands at 96,300 in the North East. This is a fall of 1,600 (1.6%) and a fall of 26,300 over the year (21.4%). The claimant count rate for the North East is 6.7%.

The employment data covers the period June to August 2021. The provisional claimant count data is for September 2021. The next release is the 16th November 2021.

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