Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland unemployment level falls: Dole queues shrink by 1,100 in September

By John Mulgrew

The number of people joining dole queues in Northern Ireland has fallen by 1,100 people — and dropping by the largest annual amount in 15 years.

And unemployment levels in the quarter to August also dropped by 2,000 people — falling to 6% for the three month period.

That considerably narrows the gap between Northern Ireland's unemployment rate, and the UK's as a whole.

It has now fallen to 5.4%.

And across the UK, unemployment has fallen to a seven-year low while a record number of people are in work, new figures have shown.

The jobless total dipped by 79,000 to 1.7 million in the quarter to August, the lowest figure since the summer of 2008, giving a jobless rate of 5.4%.

Employment increased by 140,000 in the same three months to 31 million, the highest since records began in 1971.

The Office for National Statistics said the fall in unemployment more than outstripped recent rises.

But the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit - the so-called claimant count - increased last month by 4,600 to 796,200.

Average earnings increased by 3% in the year to August, 0.1% up on the previous month and the highest since May.

ONS labour market statistician Nick Palmer said: "Wages continue to grow strongly in real terms."

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