Dip in jobless total

THERE has been a slight decrease in the unemployment rate in the borough.

In the past month 25 people have stopped claiming unemployment related benefits in Craigavon, however, the picture for the past 12 months is the opposite.

193 new claimants have registered in the last year giving the area an unemployment rate of 6.9%. The Northern Ireland average is 6.1%.

According to the figures 7.1% of men and 2.8% of women of working age in Craigavon are claiming unemployment benefits. While the situation is bad, in Belfast and Derry one in 10 men of working age are registered as unemployed.

A total of 2,972 people are claiming unemployment benefits - 2,142 men and 830 women.

In the 12 months up to the end of June, there were 66 confirmed redundancies in Craigavon. The largest number of redundancies occurred in Belfast (623), Derry (216) and Castlereagh (130) district council areas.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “The latest figures confirm the continuing need to pursue a policy of accelerated growth in high value added sectors with all the benefits that brings in terms of the wider economy.

“The period of consultation on proposals to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy has now ended. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have made written submissions on this key issue. This will give us a sound basis on which to develop this policy initiative and work will continue over the summer to finalise proposals.”