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With one in ten people in the North East are out of work, Briohny Williams talks to a man who is still determined get into work despite constant rejections since November.
John Lomas says he is applying for 20 to 30 jobs a day but is still struggling to get a job.
Chancellor George Osborne has said the fall in unemployment to 7.1 percent is "great news".
He added: "Everyone of those jobs is a family more secure and it's evidence our long term economic plan is working."
A breakdown of unemployment figures published by the Office for National Statistics has highlighted economic differences across the country:
Region, Total unemployed, Change on quarter, Unemployment rate
- North East, 134,000, plus 1,000, 10.3%
- North West , 270,000, minus 24,000 , 7.9%
- Yorkshire/Humber, 235,000, minus 8,000, 8.4%
- East Midlands, 149,000, minus 28,000, 6.4%
- West Midlands, 222,000 , minus 32,000, 8.1%
- East of England , 178,000 , minus 7,000, 5.7%
- London, 354,000, minus 18,000, 8.1%
- South East, 244,000, minus 29,000, 5.3%
- South West , 187,000, plus 15,000 6.8%
- Wales, 108,000, minus 12,000, 7.2%
- Scotland, 176,000, minus 25,000, 6.4%
- Northern Ireland, 63,000, plus 1,000, 7.3%
The TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has said that falling unemployment followed by an early Bank interest rate rise would "clobber mortgage holders and businesses".
The Trade union boss said: “..while headline unemployment is within a whisker of the Bank’s forward guidance threshold, an early interest rate rise would clobber mortgage holders and businesses – jeopardising our economic recovery.
“Patchy levels of jobs growth in parts of the north and the continuing squeeze on living standards should make the Bank of England think twice before considering a rate raise.”
For September 2013 there were 5.7 million people working in the public sector across the UK accounting for 18.8% of people in employment, the Office for National Statistics said. It represents the lowest percentage since the series began in 1999.
Chancellor George Osborne said that new jobs mean families are "more secure" after the Office for National Statistics announced unemployment fell by a rate of 7.1%.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said that the rise in quarterly employment is the "largest since records began".
Latest ITV News reports
Unemployment fell by 167,000 between September and November to 2.32 million, a rate of 7.1%, official figures showed.
So will interest rates rise? That’s the obvious question after the unemployment rate dropped even faster than economists were expecting.