Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland unemployment figure falls to 38,700

The claimant count has fallen by 26,000 since the most recent peak in February 2013
Image caption The claimant count has fallen by 26,000 since the most recent peak in February 2013

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland fell by 500 in December to 38,700.

The claimant count has now fallen by 26,000 since the most recent peak in February 2013.

The other measure of unemployment, the Labour Force Survey, fell by 0.1 percentage points to 5.9% from September to November 2015.

That is higher than the UK unemployment rate which stands at 5.1%.

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work, the employment rate, increased over the quarter and over the year to 68.8%.

That is now just 0.1 percentage point below the peak employment rate of 68.9% in April - June 2007.

The long-term unemployment rate, which is the percentage of unemployed people who have been out of work over a year or more, was 48.9%.

That is down by 4.6 percentage points over the year. However it is still far above the UK average rate of 28.5%.

The figures suggest that Derry and Strabane remains the council area with the highest unemployment.

The percentage of working age claimants is 6.3% which compares to just 2% in Lisburn and Castlereagh.

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