EMPLOYMENT in the North-East has increased – but the region still has the lowest rate of people in work, figures have revealed.

A report says the North East saw employment rise by 1.3 per cent to 69.5 per cent between February and April, which was the largest increase across the UK.

The Office for National Statistics said 1.2 million were in employment in the North-East in the three-month period, up by 15,000 from November to January.

Loading article content

The figures were also up 47,000 year-on-year, or 2.9 per cent, which was highest of any region.

However, unemployment stood at 131,000 in the period, which was 6,000 higher than the previous quarter.

Employment Minister, Esther McVey, said: “This quarter the North East saw its employment rate increase by 1.3 percentage points, and as the economy grows, businesses up and down the country are feeling increasingly confident about creating jobs.

“We’ll continue to do all we can to inspire the next generation of employers and business leaders and help them to build their careers.”