Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland unemployment rate hits record low

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has fallen to its joint lowest level on record. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA
Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has fallen to its joint lowest level on record. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has fallen to the joint lowest level on record, new figures have revealed.

The Department for the Economy's (DfE) Labour Market Report for December to February shows that the unemployment rate was 3% - a 0.5 percentage point decrease over the quarter.

This level is lower than the UK rate (3.95), the EU rate (6.5%) and that in the Republic (5.3%).

While the amount for those out of work is at a record low, the employment rate has also reached a record high - 71.2%.

This is an increase of 1.8 percentage points over the year, a "statistically significant" change, according to the DfE.

In the last year, however, there has been  2,357 confirmed redundancies in Northern Ireland - a 24% jump when compared to the previous 12 months.

A DfE spokesperson said: "The improvements in the NI labour market since 2017 are consistent with the UK experience, where unemployment and inactivity are joint lowest on record and employment is at a joint record high.

"However, it is worth noting, when compared to the other UK regions, NI has the second lowest unemployment rate, the second lowest employment rate and highest inactivity rate."

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