Unemployment in the North East still the highest in the country

In the North East, new unemployment figures from the Office of National Statistics show the region has the highest unemployment rate in the country - and has also had the largest fall in employment. Currently, employment in the region stands at 71.2% - compared to 75.2% nationally. 

Currently 84,000 - or 6.6% of people are unemployed in the North East, that's an increase of 13,000 over the quarter and an increase of 6,000 since the start of the year. This compares to a rate of 4.9% nationally. 

The number of people claiming benefits is 121,126 people - that's a rise of 47,522 people since the start of the year.

MP's have reacted, calling for more to be done to reverse the rates:

Jonathan Walker, director of policy, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “This morning’s statistics provide further evidence of the continued disproportionate impact of Covid and the economic crisis on our region. We have the highest unemployment rate in the country and have also seen the largest fall in employment."

“This starts by getting a trade deal with the EU, providing a pathway for our businesses out of Tier 3 and continuing to change Government thinking to support investment in our region.” 

Nationally, more people were made redundant between August and October than at any point on record as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the labour market, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said redundancies reached a record high of 370,000 in the quarter, despite a slight fall in redundancy numbers in October.

The number of UK workers on payrolls dropped slightly last month, and has fallen by 819,000 between February and November due to the impact of Covid-19, the ONS added.

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Overall we have seen a continuation of recent trends, with a further weakening in the labour market.

“The latest monthly tax numbers show over 800,000 fewer employees on the payroll in November than in February, with new analysis finding that over a third of this fall came from the hospitality sector.

Unemployment rates over the last six years. Credit: ONS

“In the three months to October, employment was still falling sharply and unemployment was rising, but the number of people neither working nor looking for work was little changed.

“Average hours per worker were continuing to recover, though this was before the second lockdown in England.

“While there was another record rise in redundancies in the latest three months as a whole, they began to ease during October.”

The Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions Therese Coffey says the Government are working hard to provide more jobs.