Unemployment falls by 800 during January

Unemployment claimant rates have fallen by 10,300 in the last 12 months
Unemployment claimant rates have fallen by 10,300 in the last 12 months

The general rise in employment across the province has risen again as statistics for January show that claimants receiving unemployment benefits fell by 800 over January.

However, further data covering the period from October to December 2015 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 5.8% - a decrease of 0.1 percentage points over the quarter and unchanged over the year.

Commenting on the figures before the announcement of job losses at Bombardier Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said the reduction in the numbers claiming unemployment related benefits, coupled with an increase in the proportion of people in work was welcome news.

“This has to be seen against a backdrop of continuing global uncertainty and reduced demand worldwide.

While the local rate at 5.8% remained above the UK average of 5.1%, he said it compared well to the November 2015 rate for the European Union at 9.1% and the December 2015 rate for the Republic of Ireland at 8.8%.

“Today’s figures show that although there are positive signals of growth in the local economy overall, the unemployment rate remains the same as one year ago.

“It is important, therefore, local businesses continue to develop through research and development, seeking new markets and promoting inward investment.

“I would encourage businesses to actively seek out these opportunities and to take advantage of Invest Northern Ireland’s continued support for local businesses.”