SUNDERLAND saw more private sector jobs created than anywhere else in the North East between 2010 and 2012.
The city recorded a 15.2 per cent boost to employment from businesses, creating 12,500 jobs, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
By the end of last year, there were 94,500 people employed in the private sector across Wearside, up from 82,000 in 2010.
Sunderland was the only North East council area to achieve a double figure increase, with the average private sector jobs rise across the region running at 2.9 per cent.
Nissan has been a major contributor to rise, announcing thousands of new jobs since 2010.
The plant’s success has been reflected in a rise in workforce among its supply chain, much of which is based locally, with the likes of Vantec Europe, Calsonic Kansei, Johnson Controls, Unipres and Tacle all creating jobs.
The city’s manufacturing and software technology sectors have also brought new investment, while the Port of Sunderland has just recorded its busiest year in nearly a quarter of a century.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “It’s good to see Sunderland is way ahead in the region for attracting new jobs.
“It’s a vindication of our policies over the last few years.
“We’ve promoted the city and lobbied to build a strong profile for Sunderland’s business sectors, particularly in advanced manufacturing.
“We work very hard to attract new investment from companies worldwide, and to support the growth of local companies.
“It’s rewarding to see the robust, ambitious performance of our companies translate as 12,500 more jobs for the city in the last two years.”
Sunderland welcomed about 20 private-sector investment projects to the city, creating over 3,500 jobs.
Nearly 200 local, growing businesses have received financial support, creating 1000 jobs and safeguarding a further 600.
The council launched its economic masterplan in 2010, a 15-year blueprint which aims to bring together private and public sectors.
Chief executive Dave Smith said: “Our pragmatic, positive plan for growth drove forward momentum in our key business sectors, and reinforced our determination to take a long-term view on investment.
“The results from its first two years are uplifting, particularly as the recession has retained its grip far longer than anyone imagined.