Striking new employment figures have presented a mixed picture for the region.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows the North East was one of only three areas in which the number of people out of work rose in the three months to May, 2014.
At the end of the period, 128,931 people were unemployed, an increase of 5,161 during the quarter. However, the figure represents a decrease of 5,273 as far as year-on-year change is concerned.
During the three months, the number of employed people in the region also rose to 8,829, contributing to a year-on-year increase of 60,766.
There was likewise a pronounced drop of 18,053 in the number of people deemed ‘economically inactive’, which stood at 383,574.
The year-on-year fall was 57,794 - one of the largest in the country.
During the three months, the overall UK unemployment rate dropped to 6.5%, the lowest level since the three months to December 2008. The North East compares unfavourably with a 9.6% unemployment rate.
The proportion of people in work throughout the UK rose to 73.1%, matching the highest levels since records began, last seen in 1974 and late 2004/ early 2005.