Despite a national fall in unemployment, there was disappointing news across the North East where the number without work rose by 6,000.

At 11.5%, the local jobless figure is well above the national average which has fallen to 8.2%.

The Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, said the figures were particularly disappointing as they followed three months of falling unemployment in the region.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 148,000 were out of work.

"Sadly, today's rise in unemployment isn't a surprise. "There is simply not the consumer demand nor the business confidence that would prompt the private sector investment needed to off-set previous job cuts.

Nationally, youth unemployment has also fallen, down by 17,000 over the latest quarter to 1.02 million.