North East boasts record low unemployment rates

Written by on 18th October 2022

The North East no longer has the highest unemployment rate in the UK, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Data released by the ONS reveals that unemployment levels in the region have fallen to a record low of 4.4%.

Previously, the region’s figures sat at 4.7% earlier this year but have now fallen during the second quarter of 2022. 

The North East was formerly branded as the region with consistently the highest level of unemployment in the UK. 

In October of 2011, the figure stood at 12%, 7.6% higher than it is now 11 years later.

Nationally, the UK now has its lowest level of unemployment since 1974, sitting at 3.5%. But, ONS figures do show that Britons have been continually leaving the labour market due to long term sickness.

Despite headlines, some worry that economic activity is still low. Credit:

In a statement from North East Chamber of Commerce, a spokesperson said: “The ONS employment figures for October show that gaps between the North East and the rest of the country are still concerning.”

They added: “The North East’s economic inactivity rate has worsened by 0.2%. This shows more needs to be done to help people access the job market.”

“For the government’s growth strategy to succeed, it must be inclusive of those who are struggling to access the labour market.”

These figures come as the region is due to receive funding, creating jobs, through ‘investment areas’ selected by Prime Minister Liz Truss and former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

Chosen sites include Riverside Sunderland, the Northern Spire and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park located north of the Nissan plant in Washington.

These ‘investment areas’ will pay no stamp duty, receive reduced employment taxes and have the option write off investment in plants and machinery. 

And with the possibility of new jobs and new investment, it is possible that the region’s unemployment figures could decrease further as time goes on.

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