Economy Minister welcomes further decrease in unemployment level

Date published: 14 September 2016

Figures released today for the period May - July 2016 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent - a decrease of 0.2 percentage points over the quarter and 0.7 percentage points over over the year.

Economy Minister welcomes further decrease in unemployment level
Economy Minister welcomes further decrease in unemployment level

More recent figures for August 2016 show that the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits stood at 35,100, a decrease of 800 over the month. This shows a fall of 6,700 in the unemployment claimant figures over the last 12 months.

The employment rate (69.4 per cent) increased over the year to May – July 2016 by 1.7 percentage points, while the economic inactivity rate decreased over the year to 26.4 per cent from 28.1 per cent.

Businesses reported (in the Quarterly Employment Survey) that the number of employee jobs increased over the quarter to June 2016 (0.1 per cent or 860 jobs) and over the year (1.2 per cent or 8,770 jobs) to 733,490.

Commenting on the figures, Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am greatly encouraged by the continuing signs of improvement in economic conditions especially across our labour market.

"Creating more and better jobs is a key priority for me. The increase in employee jobs and the increase in the employment rate is hugely encouraging and a further sign that our economy is heading in the right direction.

 “It is very welcome to see another decrease in the number of people on the unemployment register.  The count now stands at 35,100 people – a decrease of 16 per cent over the year.  The unemployment rate also continues to head in the right direction, at 5.6 per cent, the lowest it has been since the end of 2009, and comparing very favourably to the European Union average of 8.6 per cent.”

The economic output measures showed an increase over the quarter and year in both the services and production sectors. The Index of Services showed an increase of 1.7 per cent over the quarter and 4.0 per cent over the year, while the Index of Production reported increases of 0.6 per cent over the quarter and 0.1 per cent over the year.

Minister Hamilton continued: “Output in production over the latest quarter has been positive. It is also great to see that our services sector grew at a faster rate than the UK as a whole, both over the quarter and the year, and all sub-sectors benefited from this growth. 

“As we move forward with transforming Northern Ireland into a globally competitive economy, I want to capitalise on our strengths and propel our region forward through the Executive’s refocused Economic Strategy.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Further information on the latest labour market figures is available on the NISRA website.
  2. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned
  3. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI 

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