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Chamber response to today's employment statistics


Jonathan Walker, assistant director of policy, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “The stark increase in the our region’s claimant count shows how severe the impact of Covid 19 has been, and continues to be, on our North East employment landscape.   While we wait for this to come through in the unemployment data, we must brace ourselves for worse figures in the coming months.  

“The Government’s furlough scheme has been a lifeline as this data would have been far worse without that support.  We believe it is essential for the future of many of our regional businesses that the scheme is unwound slowly and carefully. There must be continuous dialogue between Government and the region’s business community to ensure further support where it is needed, to protect precious jobs.

  • Employment in the North East stands at 1,226,000 or 72.9% - an increase of 28,000 over the quarter and 20,000 over the year. This compares to a rate of 76.6% nationally.
  • North East unemployment stands at 68,000 or 5.4% - a fall of 7,000 over the quarter to the same level as this time last year. This compares to a rate of 3.0% nationally.
  • The claimant count stands at 112,800 or 9.0% in the North East. This is a rise of 39,400 people over the month.

The employment data  covers the period January to March 2020. The provisional claimant count data is for April 2020. The next release is on 16 June 2020.