The North East is missing out on jobs despite the economic recovery, union bosses said today.
The Trades Union Congress said the region was one of four where the likelihood of being in work has fallen since 2010 despite the recent upturn in business.
Union officials say jobseekers in the region have not benefited from better trading conditions in other parts of the country.
The other areas affected are the North West, the West Midlands, and the South East while all other regions have shown a better jobs market.
Figures released this morning by the TUC and based on information from the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey said the North East had an employment rate of 67.3% last year. The figure compares to 67.9% in 2010 – a drop of 0.6%.
The reduction compares to increases in most areas including Yorkshire at 2.4% and London at 1.6%.
Neil Foster, Northern TUC Policy and Campaigns Officer, said the figures showed inconsistency across the regions.
He said: “This study shows that under the previous Labour government the North East was catching up with the rest of the country before the global financial crash hit hard in 2008.
“However under the Coalition we have gone into reverse and we’re now seeing the bulk of new jobs created in the south so it’s even harder to find work in the North East.
“The Northern TUC warned Coalition ministers in 2010 that this could happen if they dismantled Regional Development Agencies with the significant powers, budget and support they possessed.
“Going forward, we need a devolved industrial strategy that gives our region the tools to build a real recovery that can draw on our significant strengths and benefit people in need of work here.”
TUC General secretary Frances O’Grady said the figures were part of a survey looking at employment in the regions over 20 years.
She said: “Despite the return of growth the chance of having a job has actually fallen in much of England since 2010.
“Whilst it’s great that jobs are created in London and the South East, stronger job creation is needed throughout the country.”
The figures were released ahead of new jobless statistics this week.