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Another Dip in Regional Employment Growth

 

North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) reaction to today's employment estimates.

For the third month in a row, employment and unemployment statistics are heading in the wrong direction for the North East.North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) reaction to today's employment estimates.

Headline figures for the North East:

• Employment in the North East stands at 1,166,000 or 67.1% – a fall of 18,000 over the quarter but a rise of 14,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 71.4% nationally.
• North East unemployment stands at 131,000 or 10.1% – a rise of 12,000 over the quarter but a fall of 14,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 7.8% nationally.
• The claimant count stands at 91,100 or 7.4% in the North East, compared to 4.6% nationally
NECC Director of Policy, Ross Smith, said:

"It is both surprising and worrying to see the continuing reversal of the trend that had seen strong growth in employment and reduction in unemployment throughout 2012.

"For the third month in a row, employment and unemployment statistics are heading in the wrong direction for the North East. It is a similar picture for the rest of the UK, but in the last quarter it has been much more marked here than anywhere else, taking unemployment back above 10%. A clear effort must be made to ensure that skills levels are improved to help people back into work.

"These estimates also contradict NECC's Quarterly Economic Survey, which for the first quarter of 2013 demonstrated another strong score for workforce among members with a large number of companies also reporting increases in sales and orders. While public sector job cuts continue and must be taken into account, this is the third month of disappointing figures and it is becoming increasingly difficult to write-off these estimates as a mere blip.

"One positive that can be taken is the decrease in the claimant count, which is now reducing at a faster rate than for the UK as a whole."