North East LEP reacts to ONS regional labour market statistics

In the wake of the latest regional labour market statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, Bdaily hears from Richard Baker, the strategy and policy director for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

The data updates on key indicators within the Strategic Economic Plan.  Today’s release includes quarterly data for the North East region (for the period March to May 2022). The region includes the North East LEP area and Tees Valley.

Richard Baker, strategy and policy director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The data released today shows that recent employment trends in the North East region have continued to improve, with an additional 11,600 people in employment compared to the previous quarter and a larger increase in the employment rate than nationally.

“The statistics also show a decrease in the region’s economic inactivity rate during the last quarter that is larger than nationally, and a continuing high level of labour market demand. However, there remains a challenge to ensure the North East labour market is working for all age groups with younger and older workers not securing employment at the same rate as other groups.

“PAYE data shows that the region’s median employee pay is increasing at a similar rate to nationally (up by 5.3 per cent in the year to May 2022), which is faster than the pre-COVID trend, but tracking below inflation.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see positive changes continue into this quarter, our economy continues to face challenges, particularly around the tightness of the labour market for employers and cost of living for residents.

“We can expect continuing volatility over the coming months and there will continue to be a need for support for business in navigating these headwinds and for families and communities facing increasing prices.”

Credit: Bdaily

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