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Number of people on unemployment benefits continues to fall

There are 300 fewer people claiming unemployment related benefits in Northern Ireland.

There were 31,200 claimants in May 2017, according to the latest labour market figures.

The latest Northern Ireland unemployment rate of 5.4% for February - April is down slightly from the previous quarter.

The rate is above the UK average of 4.6% but below the European Union rate (8.0%) and Republic of Ireland (6.4%) rate for March 2017.

The Department for the Economy says the latest statistics reflect a continuation of recent trends in terms of steady or falling unemployment, growth in private sector jobs and increasing output.

However the falling unemployment rate has also been accompanied by a fall in the employment rate and an increase in economic inactivity.

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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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