Number of jobseekers in Dungannon falls in March

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The number of jobless claimants in Dungannon has fallen, recent figures have shown.

Figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, show that the number of claimants in Dungannon Council area for the month of March was 1,410 claimants (874 males, 536 females).

In neighbouring Cookstown the figure was 941. Of these 607 were males and 334 females.

Overall in Northern Ireland there were 57,696 claimants in March decreasing by 700 over the month.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “It is encouraging that the number of unemployment benefit claimants continues to fall and has done so in each of the last 14 months.

“This is the most sustained fall in unemployment claimants since June 1995.

“The rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland (7.7%) is above that of the UK (6.9%) but compares favourably to the rates in the European Union (10.8%) and the Republic of Ireland (11.9%).”

Fourth quarter results for 2013 from NISRA’s Composite Economic Index indicated that economic activity increased by 0.6% over the quarter in real terms.

“The Index was also up (by 2.6%) over the year and has returned to levels previously reached in Q4 2010.

Arlene Foster continued: “This is good news in relation to economic performance, with the NI Composite Economic Index showing three consecutive quarterly increases to Q4 2013, culminating in an increase of 2.6% over the year.”