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Regional Profiles: Economy - North East, May 2012

Released: 30 May 2012 Download PDF

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Goods exports as a percentage of GVA, 2010

Trade in goods: exports as a percentage of GVA: by region, 2010
Source: HM Revenue and Customs

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The North East has the highest value of goods exports relative to the size of its economy, the highest percentage employed in the public sector and lowest gross household income per head of the English regions.

The North East’s exports of goods, expressed as a percentage of gross value added (GVA), were the highest of all the English regions at 29 per cent in 2010, compared with the UK average of 20 per cent. Over half the region’s goods exports were to the EU (55 per cent).

A quarter of employed people in the region worked in the public sector in Q4 2011 (24.6 per cent), the highest proportion among the English regions, down from 26.9 per cent in Q4 2009. In 2010, at local authority level the highest shares of public sector employee jobs were to be found in Newcastle upon Tyne and Middlesbrough (both over 33 per cent of all employee jobs).

Gross disposable household income (GDHI) of residents in the North East, at £13,300 per head in 2010, was 15 per cent below the UK average and the lowest of the English regions. It ranged from £12,400 in Sunderland to £16,090 in Northumberland.

The North East region contributed 3 per cent of the UK’s GVA. The region’s headline GVA was £41.0 billion in 2010. The latest subregional data (2009) show that Tyneside generated 37 per cent of the region’s GVA at £14.6 billion.

In 2009 manufacturing industries generated 14 per cent of the region’s total GVA, which is the largest industry contribution for the region. GVA by industry in the UK interactive map allows users to see how other industries contribute to the GVA of the area.

Productivity in 2010 (measured by GVA per hour worked) was 88 per cent of the UK rate – one of the lowest of the English regions. Within the region, Northumberland’s productivity was the third lowest in England at 75 per cent of the UK rate in 2009.

The region’s employment rate was the lowest in England at 66.2 per cent for Q4 2011. The latest subregional data for the year ending September 2011 show that North Tyneside had the highest employment rate at 72.6 per cent.

The North East had the highest rate of economic inactivity of the English regions, 25 per cent of the population aged 16 to 64 in Q4 2011. See how the percentage of economically active and inactive residents at local authority level has changed over time.

The unemployment rate was 11.2 per cent, among the highest of the English regions. Investigate how unemployment rates have changed over time at regional level.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes:

    The data section of this release provides more economic data.

    Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS) data and OTS methodologies are available on the HM Revenue and Customs website.

    Gross value added (GVA) is a key measure of economic performance. The data are consistent with the headline workplace based series, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work.

    Regional Public Sector Employment is expressed as a percentage of all people in employment. Subregional public sector employment estimates are experimental and are expressed as a percentage of all employees, from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES).

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments.

    Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC2007) defines the industries.

    Labour productivity webpage provides access to the latest releases. The Productivity handbook looks at measuring productivity at a regional level. The Subregional productivity March 2012 article provides analysis at a subregional level.

    GVA per head interactive map shows how GVA varies relative to the population of an area. GVA per head is not a measure of productivity.

    Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators. Regional employment and economic inactivity rates are data for all people aged 16 to 64. Subregional data are from the Annual Population Survey (APS), October 2010-September 2011.

    Labour market indicators are defined in the Glossary.

    Local Labour Market webpage provides access to the latest releases for employment, unemployment, inactivity, claimant count and other labour market data.

    Model-Based Estimates of ILO Unemployment for LAD/UAs cover all people aged 16 or over.

  2. Source:

    All data are published by ONS except goods export data from HM Revenue and Customs.

  3. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit the National Archives website or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Trends, No. 42, 2010 Edition - Portrait of the North East (Pdf 305Kb) - The Portrait of the North East presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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