Dungannon benefit claimant rate continues to fall

Job centre queue
Job centre queue

Almost one in three people from Dungannon District claiming benefits have found their way back into employment in the past year.

According to the latest figures released by the Department of Trade and Investment, Dungannon had the largest decrease in the number of claimants over the last six months.

This area had a fall of 31.8 per cent between January 2014 and January 2015.

The number of claimants fell by 488 meaning that the total number of claimants presently in Dungannon Council area stands at 1,045.

Magherafelt and Cookstown, like all 26 district Council areas, enjoyed a fall in the number of claimants over the past twelve months.

The figures show that there is 296 fewer claimants than in January 2014 in Magherafelt and 290 in Cookstown.

The claimant total in NI for January this year is 49,577.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “The decrease in the unemployment rate, alongside the continued decrease in the Northern Ireland claimant count is encouraging.

“The number of claimants has fallen in each of the last 25 months, which is the most sustained decrease since the series began.

The Northern Ireland unemployment rate (5.7%) is the same as that for the UK (5.7%) and it continues to compare very favourably to the November 2014 rates for the European Union (10.0%) and the Republic of Ireland (10.7%).

“The last month has seen continuing evidence of job creation and significant investment in business for Northern Ireland.”

The latest monthly decrease in NI claimants was lower than the UK decrease. Over the year, the NI claimant count has decreased by 17.6%, compared to a decrease of 31.8% in the UK.