Unemployment total in Northern Ireland drops by 1,000, figures show
The number of people in Northern Ireland claiming unemployment-related benefits has fallen by 1,000, according to the latest official figures.
The jobless total now stands at 39,700.
The other measure of unemployment, the Labour Force Survey, showed a drop in the unemployment rate to 5.9% - the UK average of is 5.3%.
Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said: "While it has been a difficult time, the figures contain positive messages from key labour market indicators."
But the figures also show two lingering problem areas are worsening.
Those are the number of long-term unemployed and the number of economically inactive, or people not seeking jobs.
Mr Bell added: "Economic inactivity continued to increase over both the quarter and the year, and this continues to be a persistent issue for our economy."
The Northern Ireland Executive has a strategy for tackling economic inactivity, but it has yet to be implemented.