Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of people in either part-time or full-time employment in Sunderland rose to 71.8% between April 2017 and March 2018.
This was an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the previous year, when the rate was at 69.3%.
It comes as the Government celebrated record high employment for the UK in the latest quarterly national figures, which cover the period from March to May.
These show employment across the country rising to 75.7%, up by 0.8 percentage points from the same quarter a year ago.
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Though local employment figures are released simultaneously with the national statistics, they only cover the 12 months to March.
In that 12 month period, national employment was 74.8%, putting Sunderland 3 percentage points below the national average.
The working-age population is grouped into three categories by the ONS – employed, unemployed or economically inactive.
This third category includes people who are not looking for a job, such as students or people with an illness or disability.
Of the approximately 175,000-strong working age population – those aged between 16 and 64 – in Sunderland in 2017-18, 128,000 were employed.
The unemployment rate was 5.6% – down from 8.4% the previous year – while the number of economically inactive people was 23.8%.
This was a decrease of 0.1 percentage points on the previous year.
However, the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance, which can include employed people if they are on a low income, also went up.
The proportion of claimants was 3.2% in 2017/18, compared to 3.1% in 2016-17.
Almost every region in the UK saw an increase in the number of claimants, despite high overall employment.
In the North East as a whole, 71% of people were employed in 2017/18, up from 69.8% the previous year.I t had the lowest rate of employment and the highest rate of unemployment in the country.
Across Britain the employment rate ranged from a low of 60.8% for the small residential population of the City of London to a high of 91.3% in Dartford, Kent.
The South East had the highest employment, at 78.5%, while the lowest unemployment rate was in the South West, at 3.3%.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said: “The employment rate is now at a record high of 75.7%.
“With over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010, this Government has seen on average 1,000 more people in work each and every day.
“Making sure our jobs market works for everyone is at the heart of this department’s work and the modern industrial strategy, and with over 800,000 job vacancies we have a buoyant jobs market with plenty of opportunities available.”