Northern Ireland unemployment figure rises

The number of unemployed people in Northern Ireland increased by 5,000 to 65,000 between August and October, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

The latest figures show that, although 3,290 jobs were created over the quarter, the number of people in employment fell by 8,000 over the same period.

Other headline figures from the NISRA data include:

  • the unemployment rate for August-October was 7.5 per cent - up 0.6 per cent over the quarter
  • the employment rate for the same period was 67 per cent - the lowest of the 12 UK regions
  • the 'economic inactivity' rate for 16-24 year-olds was 27.4 per cent - well above the UK average of 22.1 per cent and also a regional high
  • there were 60,200 unemployment benefit claimants in November - down by 700 from October.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster commented on the figures:

"Although the increase in the unemployment rate is disappointing, it is encouraging that the number of unemployment benefit claimants continues to fall. In addition, there are positive signs in terms of employee jobs with seven consecutive quarterly increases.

"In the face of continued challenges, it is important that local businesses look for export opportunities in the wider global economy. The recent Investment Conference, Invest Northern Ireland Trade Mission and representation at global events such as the Dubai Airshow and Seafex show that there is still significant demand for our products and skills that can help create the jobs we need to drive expansion at home."