Unemployment in the North East rose by 7,000 in the second quarter of the year.
The number of people out of work in the region from April to June was 134,000, an unemployment rate of 10.3%.
The first quarter of the year saw a rise of 4,000 people without a job, making the region the worst affected area in the country with a rate of 10.1%., according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) The North East is also part of a national trend which has seen the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fall to its lowest level for more than four years.
Long-term and youth unemployment increased.
Nationally, the so-called claimant count also fell by 29,200 in July – the ninth consecutive monthly drop – to 1.4m, the lowest since February 2009.
Beth Farhat, Northern TUC regional secretary said: “Ordinary people in the North East are paying the highest price for the Coalition government’s flawed economic policies.
“People want work, a wage they can live off and some job security – all things that our region, economy and country need and would benefit from.
“At the moment the Government is failing to help deliver any of these and in regions like ours is even hindering them.” Youth unemployment, among 16 to 24-year-olds, increased by 15,000 to reach 973,000, while the number of people out of work for more than two years rose by 10,000 to 474,000, the highest since 1997.
Other figures from the ONS showed that average weekly earnings, including bonuses, increased by 2.1% in the year to June, up by 0.3% on the previous month.
It is the first time the rate has gone over 2% since 2011, but the ONS said it reflected April’s unusually high number of bonus payments.
The North East Chamber of Commerce’s director of policy, Ross Smith, said: “It is good to see both sets of statistics heading in the right direction, no matter how slight the improvements. The rise in employment levels is welcome as is the slight drop in unemployment estimates.”