The number of people unemployed in Northern Ireland fell by 1.1% over the past year, according to statistics.
However, unemployment figures are likely to spiral in coming months as the full effects of coronavirus are felt as businesses are forced to lay off thousands of workers.
The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency's labour force survey released yesterday found the unemployment rate was 2.4%.
Despite being more than 1% lower year-on-year, it was 0.1% higher than the previous quarter.
The local unemployment rate is one of the lowest rates on record and below the UK rate (3.9%), the European Union rate (6.2%) and the Republic of Ireland rate (4.8%) for December 2019.
The employment rate decreased over the quarter by 0.1% but increased over the year by 1.3% to 72.3%. The latter figure is one of the highest rates recorded since records began.