Regional unemployment and inactivity

Recent changes in unemployment and economic inactivity rates and levels in the North East region

The most up to date headline sub-national labour market statistics in England are for the nine regions, where the North East is made up of the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. The monthly regional release gives data for a three-month period that ended six to seven weeks earlier. The equivalent releases for LEP and local authority areas only provide statistics for a 12-month period and are released quarterly with a greater time lag. 

The unemployment rate measures the percentage of economically active that are unemployed. The latest regional unemployment statistics are for March to May 2021. During that three-month period:

  • The North East had the second highest unemployment rate among the English regions (5.8%, England 5.0%)
  • the rate was only 0.2 percentage points higher than a year earlier (the lowest regional percentage point increase)
  • in the past year, the rate had risen to 6.6% in Jun-Aug 2020 before falling in the next two quarters
  • the latest rate in the region was much higher among men (6.7%) than women (4.1%)
  • the rate was also much higher among 16 to 24 year olds (13.9%) than in other age groups
  • the rate was higher among men than women in all four age groups

The monthly regional labour market release includes information about economically inactive people, who are not in employment but are also not currently actively seeking a job and cannot therefore be classified as unemployed. Reasons why working age people are inactive include sickness, caring responsibilities, being a full-time student and early retirement. During the March to May 2021 period:

  • The North East had the highest working-age economic inactivity rate among the English regions (23.6%, England 20.9%)
  • the rate was 0.5 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.1 percentage points lower than in the previous quarter
  • the latest working-age rate in the region was higher among women (27.5%) than men (20.8%)
  • the rate was highest for the youngest and oldest age groups (33.1% and 30.0%, respectively, for those aged 18 to 24 and 50 to 64)
  • men were more likely than women to be inactive among 18 to 24 year olds, with the reverse true in the other three age groups

Comparing the latest official regional estimates of levels of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity with those of an earlier three-month period gives an indication of net changes in the labour market status (where known) of different age groups during 2020.  

In the North East region, in the year to Mar-May 2021:

  • Among women, employment decreased by 28,300, unemployment increased by 2,800 and working age inactivity increased by 17,000 
  • among men, employment decreased by 12,100, unemployment increased by 1,500 and working age inactivity increased by 7,500 

Employment:

  • there were particularly large falls in employment among people aged 35 to 49 and 16 to 24
  • the decreases were higher among women in these age groups than among men
  • the largest increases in employment were among women aged 25 to 34 and men aged 50 to 64.

Unemployment:

  • the largest increases in unemployment were among men aged 50 to 64  and people aged 25 to 49
  • the only sizeable decrease in unemployment was among men aged under 25.

Working age inactivity:

  • the largest increases in working age inactivity were among men and women aged under 25
  • the other sizeable increases were among women in the three age groups aged 35 and above
  • the only sizeable decreases in inactivity were among women aged 25 to 34 and men aged 35 to 64.

Unemployment rate last six quarters, English regions

Last updated:
15/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: Labour market in the regions of the UK [ONS Statistical bulletin, last updated 15 Jul 2021]

Data information: Unemployment rate expressed as a percentage of economically active adults. Based on English regions.

Seasonally adjusted.


Unemployment rate by age, North East region

Last updated:
15/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: Labour market in the regions of the UK [ONS Statistical bulletin, last updated 15 Jul 2021]

Data information: Unemployment rate expressed as a percentage of economically active adults. 

Not seasonally adjusted. Official statistics: not designated as National Statistics due to small sample sizes.

The North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas.


Economic inactivity rate last six quarters, English regions

Last updated:
15/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: Labour market in the regions of the UK [ONS Statistical bulletin, last updated 15 Jul 2021]

Data information: Economic inactivity rate expressed as a percentage of the population aged 16 to 64. Based on English regions.

Seasonally adjusted.


Economic inactivity rate by age, North East region

Last updated:
15/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: Labour market in the regions of the UK [ONS Statistical bulletin, last updated 15 Jul 2021]

Data information: Economic inactivity rate expressed as a percentage of all in the specific age group. 

Not seasonally adjusted. Official statistics: not designated as National Statistics due to small sample sizes.

The North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas.


Net changes in the labour market since early 2020, by age group, North East region

Last updated:
15/07/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: Labour market in the regions of the UK [ONS Statistical bulletin, last updated 15 Jul 2021] North East LEP analysis.

Data information: Not seasonally adjusted. Official statistics: not designated as National Statistics due to small sample sizes.

The North East region includes the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas.

Net changes do not sum to zero because of movements between age groups and exclusions of people with an unknown labour market status.