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1,000 fewer claiming unemployment benefits

There are 1,000 fewer people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures.

The latest Labour Market Statistics show that the number of claimants now stands at 31,600 (3.5% of the workforce), a decrease of 1,000 from the previous month.

The unemployment rate of 5.3% had decreased marginally in January and remains above the UK average of 4.8%, below the European Union (8.3%) rate and Republic of Ireland (7.2%).

The Department for Economy says the latest figures show there has been little change in unemployment rates since the EU referendum.

Annual figures continue to reflect a gradual decline in the unemployment rate over recent years from 7.5% in 2013, 6.4% in 2014, 6.1% in 2015 and 5.8% in 2016.

There was a marginal increase in the employment rate, but 210 redundancies made in January.

Over the last year to 31 January 2017, there has been an 86% increase in the number of confirmed redundancies: 3,599 compared to 1,932 in the previous year.

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