14/07/2006

NI unemployment rate shows slight rise

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has risen slightly, but has remained below the UK average for the tenth consecutive month.

Latest official figures also show increased output levels for both production and service sector industries.

The NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in NI was 4.5% for the period March - May 2006. This is up from a rate of 4.1% recorded for the previous quarter, but is down from a rate of 4.9% recorded for the same period last year. The latest NI rate is below the UK average (5.4%) and is also considerably lower than the EU25 rate (8.3%) for April 2006.

Seasonally adjusted figures for the period March - May 2006 estimate that there were 757,000 people in employment in Northern Ireland. The new figures represent an estimated decrease of 0.7% in employment levels over the quarter, but an increase of 2.2% over the year.

During the last month, the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits decreased by 300. The latest seasonally adjusted claimant count figure stands at 28,000, down 700 over the year.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise Minister, Maria Eagle said: "The continuing low levels of unemployment in Northern Ireland are very welcome. The latest rate is 0.9 percentage points below the UK average and is the second lowest rate among the UK regions."

Provisional results from the experimental Index of Services (IOS) for the first quarter of 2006, estimate that the NI service sector has increased by 5.6% in real terms since the same period last year. This compares with an estimated increase of 3.0% for the UK as a whole over the same period.

Results from the Index of Production (IOP) for the first quarter of 2006 show that production in Northern Ireland has increased by 3.7% over the quarter, while the UK reported an increase of 0.8%. Over the year NI output levels have increased by 2.9%, whereas the equivalent UK figure fell by 0.9%.

Northern Ireland manufacturing output, the main component of the production index, increased by 3.6% over the quarter and by 2.4% over the year. The equivalent UK figures showed an increase of 0.9% over the quarter, but a fall of 0.4% over the year.

(SP)

Related Northern Ireland Recruitment News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 September 2008
Irish Builders Earn Slight Pay Increase
Pay rates for beleaguered Irish construction operatives rose slightly in the last 12 months - flying in the face of pessimism in the ailing building sector. During the year proceeding June 2008 construction workers gained a 2.2% rise in pay - bringing average weekly earnings to €817.41 from €800.
13 February 2008
Unemployment Up - But More People Are Working
Although still under the UK average, unemployment in Northern Ireland has gone up again. The numbers of people who are deemed 'economic inactive' has also continued to rise. However, on the plus side, the numbers actually in work rose again by 1,000 to 781,000 over the quarter and 9,000 on the year.
18 July 2007
Dodds Welcomes 'Low' NI Unemployment Rate
Northern Ireland's unemployment rate remains below the UK average and service sector output levels have increased over the last year. Economy Minister, Nigel Dodds welcoming the figures said: "These figures highlight the strengthening of the Northern Ireland labour market over recent years.
12 November 2003
UK employment total rises by 300,000
Labour market statistics released today show the number of people in work is up by 300,000 over the last year. This month's Labour Force survey shows employment growing and unemployment on a downward trend. The number of people in work increased by 28,000 this quarter and is more than 300,000 higher than a year ago – so topping 28.2 million people.
14 January 2004
NI unemployment figures increase
The number of people unemployed in Northern Ireland is on the increase according to the latest figures. Labour force statistics released on Wednesday revealed that some 46,000 people are unemployed, a rise of 3,000 on the this time last year.