The Journal Opinion: Silver linings and clouds in the latest unemployment figures

The Journal's opinion column for Thursday, October 16, in which we welcome - with some reservations - the fall in the North East jobless figure

A Jobcentre Plus sign
A Jobcentre Plus sign

The latest unemployment fixtures brought their usual mixture of silver linings and clouds.

On the plus side, the 0.3% fall drops the North East jobless rate to 9.3%. The surge in employment in the region has slowed – but we have still added 40,000 jobs in a year, which is very good going indeed.

However, the latest figures saw falls in seven of England’s nine regions. One of the two which didn’t see a fall was the West Midlands, which has the second worst figure among the English regions. That the West Midlands stands at 7.5% – 1.8% below the North East – shows there is a long way to go.

Finally, there are concerns that the recovery in employment is leaving behind women. And there are also worries about the quality of the jobs we are creating. Are they paying enough?

With more job losses clearly a possibility at Newcastle City Council it shows that there is still much work to be done both locally and nationally.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer