Almost 30,000 North East workers have lost their jobs since the start of the Covid-19 emergency a year ago and another 114,000 are furloughed.
Unemployment in the region, including Tees Valley, stood at 6.2% in the three months to January 2021 and was the second highest in the UK after London, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.
However, the North East unemployment rate was the same as in the same period a year ago while most regions saw an increase in the jobless rate, according to the ONS..
Richard Baker, director of strategy and policy at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: ‘Almost 30,000 workers in the region have been made redundant during the past year.
‘However, some of the recent impact of COVID-19 has been masked by an increase in the use of furlough in the region. Over 114,000 North East employments were furloughed at the end of January, more than double the total of three months earlier. Most furloughed workers continue to be classified as employed in the official statistics.
‘The impact on different groups in our population has been different. Younger people have experienced particular challenges both in employment and training and there have also been different patterns in the impact for men and women in the past year. The number of unemployed women has increased by 14 per cent, while male unemployment is lower (by about 8 per cent). Almost 52 per cent of furloughed workers in the North East at the end of January were female.
”The progress we are seeing towards the lifting of lockdown restrictions offers hope for the thousands of businesses unable to trade. Support for these businesses remaining under restrictions needs to continue’.