The North East employment rate now stands at 69.7%, just shy of the record rate of 70%, a 3% increase compared to a year ago.
While the English average employment rate stands at 73.3%, it did not change compared to the previous quarter and increased by only 1.5% on the year.
The inactivity rate – a measure of the percentage of the population not looking for work – has also fallen in the North East by 3.3% to 23.7% over the 12 months to November 2014 while in England it has remained unchanged over that same period.
North East LEP Chief Economist Chris Milne said: “As the North East Independent Economic Review and our economic plan recognise, it’s essential we concentrate on closing the gap in employment rates with the rest of England.
We are at the beginning of this process, but these latest statistics show that we are making substantial progress. Today’s data released by the ONS shows that the North East continues to achieve better labour market outcomes and is catching up with the rest of the country.
This is not just a short term trend but part of a longer term trajectory for the area’s economy which is encouraging. A key objective of the North East’s strategic economic plan is to deliver more and better jobs for everyone – this underpins our approach to creating sustainable growth and greater competitiveness for the North East.”