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Number claiming unemployment benefit falls by 1,000

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland fell by 1,000 last month, figures indicate.

However, the latest unemployment rate, based on data from three months to the start of August, has continued to rise, albeit slightly.

Falling claimant numbers do not necessarily translate into job creation, as people deemed economically inactive may neither be working nor claiming benefits.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) indicated the unemployment rate in the period May to July was up slightly, 0.1%, on the previous three months.

It stands at 6.2%, compared with the UK-wide rate of 5.5%.

Over the last 12 months the Northern Ireland rate has fallen by 0.4%. In winter 2013 it was 8.3%.

The LFS also reported a marginal increase in the numbers of people who were economically inactive.

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northern Ireland stands at 42,000.

Factoring in the 1,000 drop in August, the total has decreased by 10,400 over the last 12 months.

The number claiming unemployment-related benefits has fallen by 22,700 since the most recent peak in February 2013.

In the wider economy, other statistics showed an output increase in the services sector of 0.5% in the three months from April to June, and 0.7% over the year.

In the production sector, output dropped by 1.9% over the quarter. However, the rate still stands 1% higher than the same time last year.

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