THE estimated unemployment rate for the North-East is above six per cent for the first time since 2017. As unemployment has fallen across the country, only the East and North-East regions have seen an increase in unemployment over the past 12 months.

North East England Chamber of Commerce policy adviser Paul Carbert said: “Following the election, the new government has pledged a renewed focus on investment in infrastructure in the North of England.

“These figures demonstrate the scale of the divide between regions in the UK, and the need for targeted investment in infrastructure, skills, and business growth to unlock employment opportunities.

“The chamber is looking forward to working with the new and returning MPs in our region to make the case for our members on their investment priorities.”