Our economic growth is slowing down

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited.
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited.

Employment rates in the Tees Valley have stabilised after an encouraging period of growth.

And job totals have recovered to the levels which were last seen before the recession.

Encouraging signs are emerging in the latest economic survey produced by the local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited, whose managing director is Stephen Catchpole, for July.

The TVU report said: “The past three years have seen Tees Valley’s employment rate recover from its post-recession lows observed during 2011. After rising modestly to summer 2013, the second half of 2013 through to early 2014 saw significantly stronger growth.

“However, the rate of increase has moderated through 2014/15 to stand at 67.4 per cent in the 12- month period to March 2015, up just 0.1 per cent on the year and still somewhat below the pre-recession high of around 69 per cent.”

Jobs boosts for July included the national shoe retailer Pavers Shoes, which opened its new store in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool.

The move has brought 11 new jobs to the town.

The Wynyard-based accountancy practice Evolution has taken on six people to help meet its growing client base. The expanding firm already employs 58 staff with 12 taken on in the last year.

Quorn Foods, in Billingham, announced plans to create around 400 new jobs, as it invests £30m to increase its production capacity at its Billingham site.

The report said the recovery pattern was “indicative of sustainable economic growth and points to stronger levels of productivity and a return to real wage growth.”