Tees Valley economy ‘promising’

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PROMISING signs are emerging from the Tees Valley economy where 470 new jobs were created in the last month.

The latest study of the area by regeneration experts Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) has shown the level of activity has been heightened in job gains in rceent weeks.

A TVU spokesman said: “After a very quiet April and May for reported job losses and gains, activity in July maintained June’s higher level of activity.

“There were around 470 reported job gains, slightly higher than in June, but there were 75 reported job losses.”

The positive news included plans for 90 new jobs at Hartlepool chemical firm Huntsman while the assets of Petroplus at Seal Sands were sold to Greenergy, who already have a presence in the Tees Valley, securing 20 jobs.

But chemical manufacturer Baker Hughes are set to close their Hartlepool site due to business conditions, with the potential loss of 75 jobs, says the report.

The plant will remain open until the end of the year and the company say that staff will be considered for positions at its Liverpool operation.

The TVU report added: “A slight fall in vacancies was notified to Jobcentre Plus. After the very high number of vacancies in the Tees Valley notified to Jobcentre Plus in May, they fell back slightly in June, though remaining at a high level.”

The report also said that the unemployment levels across the Tees Valley seemed to be falling “on a slow but steady descending trend from the recent high in February.

“However, it remains above the level seen during 2011. Unemployment also fell in the North-East and the country as a whole.”

The report said the outlook was generally good as July also saw TVU’s first-ever business summit, backed by the Hartlepool Mail, which featured a keynote speech by Employment Minister Chris Grayling and attracted more than 300 delegates from local businesses.