Unemployment continues to fall in Northern Ireland

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland has fallen for the 15th consecutive month.

The number of claimants fell by 800 in April 2014 and 8,200 over the last 12 months, the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey reveals.

Key figures for January-March 2014:

  • the unemployment rate was 7.2% - a fall of 0.1 percentage points over the quarter and of 0.9 percentage points over the year
  • the economic inactivity rate (those not in work but not officially unemployed) fell to 26.8% over the quarter
  • the employment rate increased to 67.8%.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said:

"The decrease in the unemployment rate, as well as the continued reduction in the number of unemployment benefit claimants is very encouraging.

"The number of claimants has fallen in each of the last 15 months, which is the most sustained decrease since June 1995."