There’s room for optimism in new Tees Valley economic report

Darren Sutherland.
Darren Sutherland.

The unemployment gap is narrowing between Tees Valley and the rest of the country.

The news was revealed in the latest monthly economic briefing from the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Over the past five years the Tees Valley has reduced the employment gap with both the Northern Powerhouse area and the UK average to around 10,000 and 20,000 respectively

Tees Valley Combined Authority spokesman

And in another boost, the briefing said the national restaurant chain, The Chinese Buffet, was looking at Hartlepool as a potential new location after opening a restaurant in Darlington’s Feethams Centre.

The report looked at all aspects of the area’s business fortunes including the economic movement in July in the Tees Valley.

It said: “The local JSA unemployment rate for June was 3.1%, the lowest rate ever observed for this indicator.”

The employment rate for Tees Valley residents stood at 68.8%, and the report said: “Over the past five years the Tees Valley has reduced the employment gap, with both the Northern Powerhouse area and the UK average to around 10,000 and 20,000 respectively.”

The briefing told how Hartlepool had once again contributed to the area’s growth thanks to businesses such as energy firm, The Utility Alliance Group, which had plans to recruit as many as 50 new staff.

Managing director Darren Sutherland said: “We have got an ongoing recruitment policy here at Utility Alliance.”

He said it was great to be identified as a positive aspect of Tees Valley’s growth.

His positivity went even further. Mr Sutherland said anyone laid off from the Hartlepool BHS store was “welcome to get in touch” and be considered for an interview.