NI unemployment drops to 6.7%

The Northern Ireland unemployment rate fell to 6.7% between March and May 2014, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

The number of employed people now stands at 819,000, an increase of 7,000 over the quarter and 19,000 over the year.

Unemployment in Northern Ireland was down 1 percentage point between March and May 2014, compared to 0.4 percentage points in the rest of the UK. However, the Northern Ireland unemployment rate remains above the UK average of 6.5%.

Arlene Foster, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, said:

"A further decrease in the Northern Ireland unemployment rate is welcome, as is the sustained decrease in the number of unemployed benefit claimants, which has reduced by 8,800 over the last 12 months.

"These positive signals of growth in the labour market are a reflection of continued investment and job creation, much of which has been secured with support from Invest NI. This trend is continuing, with over 1,000 new jobs announced since the beginning of July alone."