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Northern Ireland unemployment hits lowest level on record

The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is at its lowest rate on record, new figures reveal.

The Labour Force Survey shows that the unemployment rate in the province for the period November-January 2018 was 3.2%- the joint lowest rate on record (with May-July 2007).

The unemployment rate decreased by 0.8% from the previous quarter and 2.6% over the year.

The latest unemployment rate for Northern Ireland was below the UK average of 4.3% and was the lowest unemployment rate of all the UK regions.

It was also below the European Union rate (7.3%) and the Republic of Ireland (6.2%) for December 2017.

DUP MLA Paul Frew welcomed the latest figures.

“The latest labour market statistics show Northern Ireland moving in the right economic direction," the North Antrim MLA said.

"Boosting the economy through private sector growth has been a key DUP priority over the last decade.

"It is very welcome that private sector jobs are now at their highest level since records began in 1974.

"We want to see that grow further and significant funding secured through the Confidence and Supply agreement to deliver on key infrastructure projects such as the York Street interchange and the superfast broadband are the foundation of future growth."

However, Northern Ireland is expected to have the worst economic growth among the 12 UK regions next year, according to a report.

Business advisors PwC’s economic outlook said Northern Ireland’s growth in 2018 is likely to be joint-lowest with Scotland at 1%.

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