Unemployment drops again

Falling jobless figures
Falling jobless figures

Unemployment in Northern Ireland fell by a further 1,000 in March as government figures indicated that the jobless total had dropped for the 27th month in a row.

Figures for the period December - February 2015 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was six per cent, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the quarter and a decrease of 1.7 percentage points over the year.

More recent figures for March 2015 show that the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits stood at 45,200 and decreased by 1,000 over the month.

“Although we have seen a slight increase in the monthly unemployment rate, the annual decrease in both the unemployment rate and the number claiming unemployment related benefits portrays a more positive picture than a year ago,” said Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

“The Northern Ireland unemployment rate is above that for the UK however it continues to compare very favourably to the January 2015 rates for the European Unionat 9.8 per cent and the Republic of Ireland at 10 per cent.

“Job creation and significant investment remains evident among Northern Ireland businesses. Since previous figures we have seen over 500 new jobs announced in Dungannon and Craigavon. While there are positive signals of growth in the local economy, challenges and uncertainty in coming months is likely.”