North East unemployment

The North East has the highest rate of unemployment in the country, according to figures released this morning.

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North East unemployment rate rises by 1000

Official figures have revealed that unemployment in the North East increased by 1,000 in the three months to March.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 127,000 people were unemployed in the region between January and March.

The region's unemployment rate was 9.8% and saw a rise of 0.8% during the period.

Unemployment nationally has increased by 15,000 to 2.52 million, while total pay growth has fallen to its lowest level in four years.

It is the third quarterly increase in a row in the jobless total.

The number of people in work fell by 43,000 in the latest quarter to March, to 29.7 million, the biggest fall since autumn 2011.

The figures also revealed that 902,000 people had been out of work for more than a year, a 23,000 increase on the three months to December.

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