The Employment Minister Mark Hoban has welcomed the latest fall in joblessness across the region. In the 3 months to October, 11,000 fewer people were out of work binging the unemployment rate down to 9.5%.
While that figure is still the highest in the UK and well above the national average of 7.8%, Mr Hoban said the past 12 months had seen a total drop of 27,000 in the North East who were unemployed.
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With the County Championship starting in April, Sir Ian will make a statement later about his visions for the club.