20 January 2006

Derry Men's Jobless Rate Twice NI Average

Derry Journal

Friday 20th January 2006

The number of men out of work in the Derry City Council area is more than double that of the Northern Ireland average. The latest unemployment figures reveal that 7.8 per cent of the Council area's males (of working age) are without jobs.

Across the North, this figure stands at 3.8 per cent. Meanwhile, the number of females out of work in the Derry area is also higher than the average for across the North. In the Derry Council area, 2.2 per cent of females of working age are out of work while across the North this figure stands at 1.2%. It's a similar situation in Strabane where 6.7 per cent of males of working age are without jobs. In Limavady, 3.8 per cent of males of working age are without work --mirroring the Northern Ireland average.

Meanwhile, the overall jobless figures confirm that Derry and Strabane continue to top the unemployment league table. According to the new government figures published this week, seasonally adjusted figures for December showed 27,199 people in Northern Ireland (2.6% of the workforce) claiming benefit. The new figures reveal that, in the Derry City Council area, 5.1% of people of working age were out of work. 2,651 (7.8%) men and 717 (2.2%) women were without jobs in the local council area.

This marks a drop of just 20 on the previous month's figures and a decrease of 33 in the past 12 months. Strabane, meanwhile, remains in second place in the jobless chart. 1,124 people - 844 men and 280 women - were out of work in the Strabane area.

NIO Enterprise Minister, Angela Smith, commenting on the latest labour market figures, says: "The Northern Ireland labour market is continuing to perform well. Unemployment levels remain below the UK average and employment has increased by 2.9% during the last year. "The positive results by our production and service sector industries also indicate that the Northern Ireland economy is performing well. "The annual growth in output levels for both the production and service sector industries is significantly higher than the UK equivalent. This shows that NI companies are continuing to rise to the challenge and are producing encouraging results in the face of difficult trading conditions.

"Through the implementation of the Economic Vision we will continue to encourage firms to develop new products and services, to seize business opportunities as they arise and to avail of the new technologies and infrastructure that are now available."

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