Belfast Telegraph

Jobless total up by 600 in month

An extra 600 people are claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed.

The jobless rate increased to just over 7% from April to June amid uncertainty about the global economy, said labour force survey figures.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said the road to economic recovery was always going to be tough.

"Our focus remains on providing whatever support and assistance we can to help stimulate private sector growth and create jobs in Northern Ireland," she said.

"To that end, we will continue to encourage local businesses to pursue export opportunities where they exist and to develop the innovative products and services that will allow their business to flourish."

Figures for last month show that the number of unemployment benefit claimants increased by 600 from the previous month.

Ms Foster said: "Given the level of uncertainty about the state of the global economy, the road to economic recovery was always going to be tough and the latest rise in unemployment highlights the challenge that we continue to face."

She said the latest Northern Ireland unemployment rate (7.3%) remained below both the UK and European averages. There was a fall in economic inactivity and a rise in employment levels in Northern Ireland.

The UK's jobless rate stood at 2.49 million, or 7.9%, between April and June, the Office for National Statistics said, after the total number of unemployed increased by 38,000. Economists had expected a fall of around 10,000.

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northern Ireland stood at 60,400 in July - up 600 (1%) from the previous month.

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