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Northern Ireland enjoying healthy growth as jobless figures fall

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Unemployment in Northern Ireland fell to 6.1% in September while economic activity for businesses has grown, according to government statistics

Unemployment in Northern Ireland fell to 6.1% in September while economic activity for businesses has grown, according to government statistics

Unemployment in Northern Ireland fell to 6.1% in September while economic activity for businesses has grown, according to government statistics

Unemployment in Northern Ireland fell to 6.1% in September while economic activity for businesses has grown, according to government statistics.

The claimant count – the numbers of people claiming jobseekers' allowance – also fell by 300 during September, contributing to a fall of 9,400 over the last year.

And the separate unemployment rate of 6.1%, which was down 1.2 percentage points over the year, was the lowest since early 2009, according to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

There was also good news for youth unemployment. The quarterly labour market survey estimated the jobless rate for 18 to 24-year-olds at 18.4% – down 4.2 percentage points over the year.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland composite economic index for the second quarter of the year showed an increase of 0.3% during the quarter, and an increase of 1.2% over the year.

There was growth in the services, production and public sectors, according to the index.

Danske Bank chief economist Angela McGowan said: "The economic data this week for Northern Ireland has undoubtedly been very positive with falling inflation and a labour market that is continuing to improve.

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"It is also good to see the latest NI composite economic index has revealed a healthy year-on-year increase during the second quarter. Danske Bank forecasts suggest that over the year the local economy will grow by 2.6% and our latest confidence index shows that households are clearly feeling much more optimistic."

Warning against complacency, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said. "We must maintain momentum by identifying and developing markets with the most relevance to our local businesses.

"My department will continue to build on the recent successes by encouraging inward investment and promoting the benefits of NI as a cost-competitive location."


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