North's claimant count falls by 1,000 during August

THE number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits fell by 1,000 in August, meaning they have decreased by 10,400 over the year to 42,000, according to figures in the latest Labour Market Report published by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

The north's unemployment rate, though, increased by 0.1 percentage points over the quarter to the end of July and fell over the year by 0.4 per cent to 6.2 per cent, which is above the UK rate (5.5%).

The long term unemployment rate continues to rise, up 6.1 per cent over the year to 58 per cent, while the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter and year to 67.8 per cent.

Angela McGowan, chief economist at Danske Bank UK, called for direct intervention from the government with regard to skills and training.

Those termed as "economically inactive" - including students, sick/disabled or looking after the home - is 27.5 per cent, which is up 0.5 per cent over the quarter and 0.4 per cent over the year.

Meanwhile in the UK as a whole joblessness grew by 10,000 between May and July, to 1.82 million.

However, the number of people in work also rose - up 42,000 to 31.09 million - in the period. The employment rate - or proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work - was 73.5 per cent.


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