Ballymena jobless total slightly up

The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw a slight increase last month.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, in January a total of 1,561 people claimed unemployment benefit in the borough (1,496 in December).

Wards within the borough registering the most claimant counts for unemployment were Dunclug with 122 (115 in December) Castle Demesne with 119 (109 in December) and Ballee with 115 claimants (116 the previous month).

The ward with the least number of claimants in January was Slemish with 21 (up three on the previous month).

Province-wide the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has fallen again, for a 12th month a row.

Government figures show a drop of 600 in the month of January to 58,700.

However, the unemployment rate continues to fall at a slower rate than the rest of the UK.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stands at 7.4%.