Report finds low resilience in Sunderland and Co Durham
Sunderland and County Durham are poorly placed to weather future economic shocks, according to BBC-commissioned research.
The Experian study ranks English council areas' resilience to economic changes, such as public sector cuts.
Out of a table of 324 districts, Sunderland is placed at 308, with Durham at 276 and Darlington at 260.
The research aims to show the ability of areas to withstand and respond to future changes, such as job losses.
But it does not indicate the areas which will suffer the greatest amount of public sector cuts.
The north-east of England is said to be particularly vulnerable to spending cuts because of the high proportion of people working in the public sector.
In some areas this amounts to almost one in three of the workforce.
One of those concerned about the future is Marie Brett, who works for Sunderland City Council's careers advice service and lives in Morpeth.
She said: "I suppose I have been involved in the career guidance sector for the last 23 years helping people cope with changes in their working lives, very often redundancy.
"And now I am in a situation where I am not sure this time next year whether I will have a job or what that job's likely to be."
The researchers looked at resilience across four areas - business, community, people and place - and considered 33 factors.
They included the strength of the business base, people's skills, house prices, crime levels and the level of benefit claimants.
Listen to the BBC Newcastle debate at 0900 BST on Friday.