Belfast Telegraph

Unemployment rises to 8.4%

Unemployment in Northern Ireland has risen by 1.5% while the UK as a whole has seen the jobless rate rise by 70,000 to 2.56m.

The new rate of 8.4% in Northern Ireland was released in new figures that also showed 68,400 people signed on in March.

Today's data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year, an 8,000 increase on the three months to November, while the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds rose by 20,000 to 979,000.

There was a 7,000 fall in Jobseeker's Allowance claimants last month, to 1.53 million.

Meanwhile, the rise in average earnings continued to lag behind inflation, with total pay increasing by just 0.8% in the year to February, down by 0.4% on the previous month.

Statisticians said it was the lowest growth rate since the end of 2009, while the 1% rise in regular pay, which excludes bonuses, was the lowest since records began in 2001.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, people on long-term sick leave or those who have given up looking for work, fell by 57,000 to 8.95 million.

Despite today's increase in unemployment, the total is 71,000 lower than a year ago.

There has been a 62,000 fall in the number of people in part-time jobs, to just over eight million, with a 60,000 increase in full-time employment, to 21.6 million.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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