Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland unemployment rate falls to 5.5%

Unemployment rate now lowest since September - November 2008

There has been a further decrease in the Northern Ireland unemployment rate, according to the latest labour market figures.

The unemployment rate dropped by 0.4% over the June to August 2016 period and 0.5% over the year and now stands at 5.5%.

The UK unemployment rate of 4.9% was unchanged over the quarter.

There were 400 fewer people claiming unemployment related benefits in the region in September 2016, which is a total decrease of 5,800 over the year.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has welcomed another decrease in the number of those out of work.

“Our unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since September - November 2008,” he said.

“In addition, the figures in relation to the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits for September 2016 stand at 34,900.”

The rate of employment is 70.1%, an increase over the year of 2.2%.

"This was the highest employment rate since the series began in 1995,” Minister Hamilton commented.  

“We have also witnessed the lowest economic inactivity rate in these latest statistics since the series began, at a rate of 25.7% and down 1.9 percentage points over the year.”

"Bringing more and better jobs to Northern Ireland is my main priority,” he continued.

“I have just returned from a series of meetings with existing and potential investors in Chicago where my very clear message is Northern Ireland is a great place to do business.  

“With our local economy continuing to strengthen and perform well, I am committed to building on this progress to achieve the overall aim of creating a globally competitive economy.”

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