The jobless total across Northern Ireland fell by around 1,000 during October according to the latest unemplyment figures for the province.
Despite news of further redundancies (see above), the data suggests a continuing recovery that has seen a fall of of 11,900 in the unemployment claimant figures over the last 12 months.
While there was a slight increase in the employment rate over the quarter (0.1%), the rate fell over the year by 0.6 percentage points, to 67.9 per cent. The economic inactivity rate (27.7%) increased over the quarter and year (by 0.3 and 0.6 percentage points respectively).
“While I recognise it has been a difficult time, the figures published today do contain positive messages from key labour market indicators,” said Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell.
“Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployment benefit claimants have decreased over the quarter and the year.
“The Northern Ireland unemployment rate continues to compare very favourably to the August 2015 rates for the European Union (9.5%) and the Republic of Ireland (9.5%).
“However, economic inactivity in NI continued to increase over both the quarter, and the year, and this continues to be a persistent issue for our economy.”