Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has welcomed today’s labour market statistics, which show an increase in the number of jobs in Northern Ireland and a decrease in the unemployment rate.
In November 2015, the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits stood at 39,100, a decrease of 800 over the month. There has been a fall of 11,600 in the unemployment claimant figures over the last 12 months.
The total number of employee jobs in Northern Ireland was estimated at 729,740 for September 2015, representing an increase of 2,690 (0.4%) over the quarter, and an increase of 8,480 (1.2%) over the year.
Figures for the period August – October 2015 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 6.1% – a decrease of 0.2 percentage points over the quarter and over the year.
Jonathan Bell said: “The figures published today contain positive messages across a range of key labour market indicators. Unemployment has fallen, both over the quarter and the year, while the number of employee jobs has continued to increase.
“At 6.1%, the Northern Ireland unemployment rate continues to compare very favourably to the August 2015 rates for the European Union (9.3%) and the Republic of Ireland (9.4%).”
Provisional results from the seasonally adjusted Index of Production (IOP) showed that output levels in Northern Ireland decreased by 2.1% over the quarter to July – September 2015 but increased by 0.6% over the year.
Over the quarter to July – September 2015, provisional results from the seasonally adjusted Index of Services show that output for Northern Ireland remained the same over the quarter and increased by 1.3% over the year.
Jonathan Bell continued: “The economic output figures suggest growth over the year and it is important we continue to build on recent progress in the labour market, and in our exporting performance, by encouraging research and development, expanding existing markets and promoting inward investment, which will benefit the economy as a whole.
“My Department is committed to doing growing the economy, assisted by InvestNI, which is now on track to exceed its revised PfG target of promoting 41,000 jobs since 2011. These new jobs have been in a range of sectors including food, manufacturing, legal, business and financial services, and across every council area.
“I would therefore encourage businesses to actively seek out opportunities and to take advantage of Invest NI’s continued support for local businesses and the local economy.”