Rise in unemployment in the North East

Official figures have revealed that unemployment in the North East increased by 12,000 in the three months to February.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that a total of 131,000 people were unemployed in the region between December and February.

The region's unemployment rate was 10.1% and saw a rise of 10% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment has increased by 70,000 to 2.56 million, with rises among young people and those out of work for more than a year.

The total is the worst since last summer, giving the UK a jobless rate of 7.9%.

The number of people in work fell by 2,000 in the latest quarter to February, to just under 30 million.

900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year - an 8,000 increase on the three months to November - while the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds rose by 20,000 to 979,000.