The latest unemployment figures suggest that with the number of unemployed in the North East falling to 125,000 during the last three months of 2012, 2000 more people are now employed in jobs.
However, the region still has the highest figure of unemployment in the country, and this is a concern that Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, continues to recognise.
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With the County Championship starting in April, Sir Ian will make a statement later about his visions for the club.
The next phase in plans to attract more high-tech companies to a leading science parks in County Durham gets underway today.
An 84-year-old woman from the North East has abseiled down Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge to raise awareness of Fair Trade.