1,642 currently out of work in the borough

The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw a decrease last month, down 72.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, the claimant count in the borough now stands at 1,642, compared to 1,714 (August).

Wards within the borough registering the most claimant counts for unemployment in September were Castle Demesne 115 (113 in August), Ballee 113 (118) and Dunclug 111 (116).

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The area with the lowest claimant count last month was Ballyloughan with 30 (34 in August).

Province-wide the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland fell by 600 over the past month.

September was the eighth month in a row when there has been a decrease in this measure of unemployment, according to the latest figures.

However, the number of claimants is shrinking at a slower rate than the UK average, at one per cent compared to three per cent. Currently there are 61,000 claimants across NI.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the figures.

“The continued decrease in the unemployment rate as well as the fall in unemployment benefit recipients are positive indicators, which are to be welcomed,” said the DUP minister.

“Any new foreign investment and export opportunities will help to provide quality jobs and opportunities for local people,” she said.