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Further fall in Northern Ireland unemployment welcomed


Ireland’s specialist auto trade recruitment website RecruitAuto.com welcomed another fall in unemployment figures in Northern Ireland. However, the rate has slowed, according to the latest figures issued by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NIS&RA).

The latest Labour Market Statistics show a 0.3 per cent fall in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period October to December 2016 compared to Q3 (July to September), and 0.5 per cent for the year.

This means that the unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is now 5.3 per cent, which
is higher than the UK average of 4.8 per cent, but below the European Union rate of 8.3 per cent for October 2016. The comparable unemployment rate in the Republic of Ireland is was at 7.2 per cent for last December (2016).

In the same quarter, there was a 0.1% increase in the employment rate.

The more recent seasonally adjusted numbers claiming unemployment related benefits in Northern Ireland stood at 31,600, 3.5% of the workforce. Those January 2017, figures represents a decrease of 1,000 from the previous month’s revised figure.

The number of people leaving the register in the last 12-month period has also slowed, from 10,000 to January 2016 to 6,500 in the recent year to January 2017.

Announcing the figures, the NIS&RA said: “The post-referendum picture is still emerging and will continue to do so over the coming quarters and years. It is also not possible to separate out the specific impact of the referendum in this quarter from pre-existing trends. However, the latest figures show there has been little change in unemployment rates since the EU referendum.”