Business

North's unemployment rate falls to 10-year low

The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years
Gareth McKeown

THE unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years, according to the latest government figures.

The number of people in work also increased, while the economic inactivity fell, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period October-December 2017.

The north's unemployment rate decreased over the quarter and the year by 1.4 per cent to 3.9 per cent, the lowest in this quarterly series since April-June 2008. The equivalent UK rate also fell to 4.4 per cent, but remains above the recorded level in Northern Ireland.

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in employment increased by 0.6 per cent on the previous three months, but decreased over the year by 1.2 per cent to 68.7 per cent.

The economic inactivity rate in Northern Ireland - those not working or seeking employment is now at 28.4 per cent, representing a decrease of 0.5 per cent over the quarter, but a rise of 2.3 per cent over the year.

The latest figures also reveal that the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in the north fell last month. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count decreased by 700 over the month to 28,400 in January, but these figures do not include claimants of Universal Credit.

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