Unemployment levels still rising in NI
The number of people out of work in Northern Ireland is continuing to rise, as the unemployment benefit claimant rate remains the second highest of the 12 UK regions.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
According to the latest government figures, the unemployment rate is now estimated at 7.1% - up from 6.5% in the last quarter.
While the rate has risen, it does remain below the averages for the UK (8.2%), the Republic of Ireland (10.2%) and the European Union (14.5%).
Just over 45% of those unemployed in Northern Ireland have been out of work for at least one year.
The unemployment rate for young adults aged 18-24 has risen by 4.6 percentage points in the last year to 21%.
Three hundred more people joined the dole queues in May, taking the total number of people on unemployment benefits to 62,600.
The number of jobs available in the public sector has decreased by 4,380 in the last year, and there was a decrease of 3,200 jobs in the private sector.
In May, 194 people were affected by confirmed redundancies.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said it was apparent that "wider economic issues" were continuing to put pressure on the labour market in Northern Ireland.
"My Department, working through Invest Northern Ireland, is committed to helping businesses to identify how they can better cope with current economic difficulties," she said.
"In addition, the Invest NI Jobs Fund is supporting business owners to create new, sustainable jobs that will tackle our current levels of unemployment.
"In its first year of operation, the scheme exceeded its Year One target by promoting 2,390 jobs against a target of 2,250 and by actually creating 1,021 jobs against a target of 1,015."