Two thirds of the region's Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) intend to recruit new staff in 2014, a study shows.
Research by Yorkshire Bank also found North East businesses which plan to create new jobs expect to grow employee numbers by 11%.
It also found that 64% of North East SMEs intend to recruit new employees.
On average, the North East’s 135,000 SMEs expect to recruit more than 7% more staff. If this figure is applied to the North East’s total SME workforce of 429,000, almost 31,000 new jobs could be created.
Alan Young, regional director for Business and Private Banking with Yorkshire Bank in the North East of England, said: “SMEs are crucial to the UK economy and its emerging recovery and we will continue to support them in 2014.”