NI jobless rate rises

NI jobless rate rises

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has risen to 7.7% in the last quarter.

The rate was recorded for the period December - February 2014 and marked a rise of 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter.However, compared to one year ago, it was down 0.6 percentage points.The UK average jobless rate is 6.9%, while the European Union rate is 10.8% for January 2014 and the Republic of Ireland's rate stands at 11.9%.Youth unemployment in NI, which covers 18-24 year olds, remains much higher than the UK average.Almost one quarter of young people are without work in the north.Over the last year, a rate of 23.1% was recorded which is a rise of 1.8 percentage points.However, during the period November 2013 - January 2014, the rate stood at a slightly lower 22.3%.The UK average rate for youth unemployment is 17.2%.Meanwhile, there was a drop in the number of unemployment related benefits claimants in the north. It stood at 57,000 last month - a drop of 700 compared to February.It is the fourteenth consecutive month that the rate has fallen, but NI still has the highest claimant rate out of all the UK regions.For the last four years, Northern Ireland has had the highest or second highest regional unemployment rate.Almost half of people in the region, 45.5%, currently unemployed have been jobless for one year or more.

© UTV

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