Long-term Unemployment

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 11th March 2013.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 2:30 pm, 11th March 2013

I would have thought that the hon. Gentleman would want to celebrate the fact that an additional 21,000 people in the north-east are in work compared with a year ago. Yes, there are deep-seated challenges in the north-east, but I am confident that progress is being made in rebalancing the economy, and that is down to the strength of the private sector.