1,173 locals are out of work

The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw yet another decrease last month, down 41 claimants.

Ediitorial image
Ediitorial image
Ediitorial image

According to the latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, the claimant count in the borough now stands at 1,173, compared to 1,214 in April.

Wards within the borough registering the most claimants for unemployment in May were Ballee with 94 claimants (98 in April), Castle Demesne with 91 (88) and Ballykeel and Dunclug which each had 87 claimants in May, but 94 and 88 claimants respectively, the previous month.

The ward with the lowest number of claimants in May was Ballyloughan with just 14 - down five from April.

Province wide, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by a further 1,000 in May.

The claimant count stands at 43,400, having fallen for 27 months in a row.

However, the other unemployment measure rose slightly in the three months to April. The Labour Force Survey is 6.1% compared to a UK rate of 5.5%.

Other official figures suggest the construction industry is beginning to recruit again.

The number of employee jobs rose by 3,180 in the first quarter of 2015, and half of that number was in construction.