The county’s economic structure is distinctive. A relatively small business stock exists and the majority of employers in the private sector are small businesses, whilst a significant proportion of the population is self-employed. There is a strong reliance on the public sector for employment, with almost one in three people working in the various sub-sectors of health and social work, education and public administration.
Northumberland’s unemployment rate tends to be much lower than other parts of the North East. Most recently, it was 5.3% having increased to a record high of 7.6% in 2010.
The employment rate in the county was 72.5% (Sept 17).