14/02/2007

NI unemployment rate falls slightly

The seasonally adjusted figures indicate a small drop in unemployment in Northern Ireland.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimated that 34,000 people (4.2%) were out of work in the period October - December 2006.

The unemployment rate of 4.2% represents an estimated decrease of 0.5% points from the previous quarter (July – September 2006) but only a decrease of 0.3% on the previous year.

However, the NI unemployment rate is lower than the equivalent rate for the UK (5.5%), which fell by 0.1% points over the quarter, but was up 0.4% over the year.

NI currently has the second lowest unemployment rate among the UK regions – only the South West (3.8%) region has a lower rate.

This compares to the 'EU27' rate of 7.7% and a Republic of Ireland rate of 4.2% for November 2006.

(SP)

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