The North East Chamber of Commerce said it was "surprising and worrying" that the unemployment rate has risen above 10% again in the North East, after a growth in employment throughout 2012.
The organisation, which represents local businesses, said in a statement that employment and unemployment statistics were "heading in the wrong direction" and called for efforts to "ensure that skills levels are improved to help people back into work."
More top news
A young couple from Wallsend - Abbie Douglas and Sam Younganan - describe hearing gun shots in the Tunisian resort of Sousse
Temperatures on the rise from Tuesday. Some very warm and muggy nights to come
A British holidaymaker captured the scene on a Tunisian beach after a gunman opened fire at a beach resort in Sousse on Friday.