Unemployment rises in region

Unemployment in the North East increased by 3,000 in the three months to January.

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Employment minister: "there are positive signs out there."

Employment Minister Mark Hoban

Employment Minister Mark Hoban has reacted to the latest unemployment figures.

He says despite a 2.4% increase in the number of people out of work in the North East, there are positive signs.

He cited jobs recently created by a new Sainsburys store in Sedgefield, County Durham and at the Barbour factory in South Shields as examples of an improving picture.

Unemployment rises by 2.4%

Unemployment in the North East increased by 3,000 in the three months to January.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 127,000 people were unemployed in the region between November and January.

The region's unemployment rate was 9.8% - the highest in the UK - and saw a rise of 2.4% during the period.

Unemployment nationwide has increased for the first time in a year, delivering a pre-Budget blow to the Government.

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