National figures show drop in unemployment and numbers claiming jobseeker's allowance as well as a record 30.3 million people in work.
Unemployment fell by 77,000 in the three months to February to 2.24 million, a jobless rate of just under 7%, the lowest for five years.
More top news
Actor Rodney Bewes has died aged 79. The star is best known for his role as Bob Ferris in Geordie sitcom The Likely Lads.
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Ellie Knowles, 18, died last November after being at a Shindig event in Newcastle.