Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland unemployment benefit claimants falls by 1,000

Jobs and Benefits office sign
Image caption The number claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland is 43,400

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland fell by a further 1,000 in May.

The claimant count stands at 43,400, having fallen for 27 months in a row.

However, the other unemployment measure rose slightly in the three months to April. The Labour Force Survey is 6.1% compared to a UK rate of 5.5%.

Other official figures suggest that the construction industry is beginning to recruit again.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The manufacturing engineering sector has grown by 65% since its recent low point in 2009

The number of employee jobs rose by 3,180 in the first quarter of 2015, and half of that number was in construction.

Northern Ireland's long-term unemployment rate now stands at 64.5%, almost twice that of the UK and up from 50.7% a year earlier.

A broader measure called the Index of Production, which includes utilities and quarrying, was up by 3.7% over the quarter and is now above its pre-crisis peak.

The most significant recovery is in the manufacturing engineering sector, which has grown by 65% since its recent low point in 2009.

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