Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Unemployment Rises in Region despite UK Fall; a North East's 5.6% Rate of Joblessness Is the Worst in the Country

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Unemployment Rises in Region despite UK Fall; a North East's 5.6% Rate of Joblessness Is the Worst in the Country

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAEME WHITFIELD Business Editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk @Graemewhitfield

BUSINESS leaders have sounded a note of alarm after unemployment rose in the North East while falling in most other parts of the country.

Nationally, record numbers of people are in work after a big increase in full-time jobs and selfemployment.

But the North East has seen unemployment rise over the last three months, reinforcing its position as the region with the highest rate of joblessness in the UK.

The new statistics - which follow a similar picture in January - reverse a trend that had been seen over the last few years whereby the North East had been closing the employment gap on the rest of the country and briefly lost its position at the bottom of the UK's jobs table.

Paul Carbert, policy adviser at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday: "As a snapshot of the current state of the labour market in the North East, the employment statistics released this morning do not make for positive reading.

"The North East has the lowest employment rate and highest unemployment rate of any region. The gap between the employment rate in the North East and the national average has doubled over the past year, and the employment rate in the South West, the best-performing region, is now nine percentage points higher than the rate in the North East.

"In the most recent Quarterly Economic Survey conducted by the Chamber, members reported a marked slowdown in sales and orders, particularly for exporters, and a fall in confidence about current workforce levels.

The gap the rate North East national has doubled last Paul "We frequently hear from members that uncertainty over Brexit is delaying investment and recruitment decisions, and the ongoing political impasse is not helping matters. …

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