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Unemployment benefits claimants falls by 300

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Rebecca Kincade on October 15, 2014 - 10:22 am in News

Figures for September 2014 show that the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits decreased by 300 over the month, with a total fall of 9,400 over the last 12 months.

Figures also released today for the period June – August 2014 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 6.1%, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points over the quarter and 1.2 percentage points over the year.

This is the lowest rate since December – February 2009 on the non-overlapping quarterly series.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “The decrease in the unemployment rate, alongside the continued decrease in the Northern Ireland claimant count is encouraging. The number of claimants has fallen in each of the last 21 months, which is the most sustained decrease since June 1995.”

Results of the NI Composite Economic Index for Q2 2014 were also published today, indicating that economic activity increased by 0.3% over the quarter in real terms. The Index increased by 1.2% over the year, reflecting growth in the services, production and public sectors.

Arlene Foster added: “The quarterly measure of Northern Ireland’s economic activity also shows evidence of growth in real terms over both the quarter and the year up to Quarter 2.

“Since the start of 2014 Invest Northern Ireland has announced over 1250 new jobs from 11 new inward investors. It is the success of both our local companies and the decisions by global corporations to base themselves here that are continuing to drive Northern Ireland’s economic growth.

“While there are continuing positive signals of growth in the local economy, we cannot take any of this for granted. We must maintain this 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 Northern Ireland as a cost-competitive location.”

Further information on the latest labour market figures is available in the Labour Market Statistical Press Release (see http://www.detini.gov.uk/lmr_new.htm) and from the Northern Ireland Executive website (see http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre.htm)

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