Published Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit dropped for the 12th month. (© UTV)
The latest Labour Force Survey has said the number of people in work decreased by 1,000 in the last quarter of the year, however overall, for the 12 month period, 4,000 fewer people were classified as unemployed.
The survey estimated that 64,000 were unemployed, or 7.4% of the working population, between October and December with 807,000 in work for the period, an increase of 8,000 for the year.
The number of the population, aged between 16 and 65, classed as economically inactive was estimated at 560,000 people.
The figure represents 26.9% of the working population which the report said was "significantly higher" than the 22.1% UK average.
Also, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit decreased by 600 to 58,700 in January.
It was the 12th month in a row the number claiming the benefit fell and represents a fall of 6,200 for the year.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "While the unemployment rate increased slightly over the quarter, the number of unemployment benefit claimants has fallen for the 12th consecutive month.
"It is encouraging to note that there are 6,200 fewer people claiming unemployment benefit than one year ago.
"The rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland (7.4%) is slightly above that of the UK (7.2%) but compares favourably to the rates in the European Union, 10.9% and the Republic of Ireland 12.3%."
© UTV News