Unemployment increase in North East

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Latest figures reveal an unemployment rate of 5.5% in the North East for the period from September to November, up 0.3% on last year.

The regional jobless total stands at 71,000, an increase of 14,000 over the quarter and 3,000 over the year. The national unemployment rate is 4%.

The employment rate for 16 to 64-year-olds is at 628,000, up 0.8% on the quarter. Those classed as economically active has also increased by 1.1%.

In Northumberland, a focus over the next few weeks is on leisure and tourism as recruitment begins for holiday parks and visitor attractions, while a tie-up between DWP, armed forces veterans and The Alnwick Garden is offering veterans the chance to retrain and find work.