Despite the recent public tensions between the Bank of England and the Treasury, most people will acknowledge that the economy is doing quite well.
While here in the North-East we will recognise that our economy needs to do better, it is a fact that nationally things are relatively good, especially on employment growth.
However, there is not a perfect picture of success.
While there are now more black and Asian people in work than there were seven years ago, progress is slow in enabling this group of workers to access employment opportunities, and unemployment rates remain higher than for white workers with equal skills.
And where black and Asian people are in work they are more likely to be on lower pay and are less likely to be in senior or managerial posts.
A recent TUC report estimated that if the employment rate for black workers continues to rise at such a modest pace, it could take 46 years before employment is as high amongst the black working age population as it is amongst the white working age population.
`Black workers, jobs and poverty' analyses official statistics to show that unemployment amongst the UK's ethnic minority communities currently stands at 11%, but drops to 5% for white workers.
Even more starkly, the employment rate for ethnic minority people in 2004 was 59.4%, compared to 74.7% for the working age population as a whole.
Also, having one or more parents in paid employment has a dramatic affect on a family's finances, so there is a clear link between work and poverty.
However, it is employer reluctance to recruit ethnic minority candidates, even though they may be better skilled than fellow white job hunters, that is blamed for the gap between the numbers of black and white people out of work.
Even white people born abroad fare better than black or Asian people born in the UK.
Educating businesses in race equality practices would help. So would extending the Race Relations Amendment Act beyond the public sector.
This would require the recruitment activities of businesses to be proofed against discriminatory bias. That would have a real impact, and make it much more difficult for private sector firms not to take on black and Asian candidate.