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.
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Three of the region's court houses are to close after the government decided they were under-used.
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The former KP crisps factory in Consett, County Durham, will be home to a new manufacturing and distribution centre, creating 60 jobs.