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
Archeologists in America say a ship wreckage found at the bottom of a harbour is that of Captain James Cook's Endeavour.
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Two year old Ruby from York ate 24 plastic gloves while her owner wasn't looking.