Marginal rise in NI unemployed count

The number of unemployed people in Northern Ireland increased by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2012, according to the latest labour market figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

An estimated 68,000 people were unemployed in the period October-December 2012, an increase of 1,000 on the previous quarter.

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate for the quarter stood at 7.8 per cent, the same as for the UK as a whole.

Key estimates from the report:

  • 67 per cent employment rate for those aged 16-64, a 0.4 per cent quarterly fall
  • 555,000 economically inactive persons*, a quarterly rise of 7,000
  • 65,000 people claiming unemployment benefits in January 2013, unchanged from December 2012
  • 239 proposed redundancies between mid-January and mid February 2013, 49 more than the previous month.

Commenting on the figures, Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said:

"There has been little change in the unemployment rate for the last quarter of 2012 and the number of people on the claimant count in January remained constant for the first time in over a year. The rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland was equal to that in the UK, and still compares favourably to the rates in the European Union (10.7 per cent) and the Republic of Ireland (14.6 per cent)."

*The Office for National Statistics defines economically inactive persons as 'people aged 16 and over without a job who have not sought work in the last four weeks and/or are not available to start work in the next two weeks.'