Northern Ireland news

Unemployment rate drops by 600 in just a month

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland dropped by 600 from March to April 2016. Photograph by Gareth Fuller
Gareth McKeown

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland has fallen by 600 in the space of just a month.

The figures published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency reveal a dramatic decrease from March to April in the number of people claiming benefits. The good news comes after successive increases from January to March 2016.

As of April 2016 37,900 people were claiming unemployment related benefits, 6.2% of the population. This compares to the UK rate of 5.1%.

The figures also reveal a further drop in economic activity to its lowest rate since 1995. Economic inactivity refers to people who are neither in work or looking for a job.

In Northern Ireland, 26% of working-age adults are inactive, compared to a UK rate of 22%.

In terms of the number of people in employment (16-64) the rate has increased over the year to 69% although this still remains lower than the UK rate of 74.2% and is the lowest of all 12 UK regions.

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