Niamh Corcoran, policy adviser, North East England Chamber of Commerce said:
“Figures released today suggest that the labour market is beginning to stabilise. The extension of business support and the clearer picture of the route out of restrictions is likely to be bolstering business confidence.
“However, the Government’s Job Retention Scheme is very likely to be distorting these figures. The scheme is supporting businesses and employees through the current lockdown and successfully preventing redundancies. What remains uncertain is how many jobs will be lost as the furlough scheme is wound down in the Autumn.
“What is still concerning is the North East’s disproportionately high unemployment rate, of 6.2% compared to the UK average rate of 5%. The region entered the crisis with higher rates of regional unemployment compared to more prosperous areas of the UK. Without commitment from Government to tackle our region’s unemployment rate and level up the whole of the North East, there is a risk that regional economic disparities could be widened and levelling up a pipe dream.”