Number of people out of work falls by 15 per cent

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The number of local people out of work and claiming unemployment benefits has fallen by 15 per cent over the last 12 months, according to the government’s latest figures.

The January Labour Market Report reveals that during December there were 1,266 claimants in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area - 828 men and 438 women. That represents a decrease of 0.8 per cent (10 claimants) from the previous month, and a fall of 15 per cent (223 claimants) over the past year.

The area’s claimant count stands at 1.4 per cent of the working age population - still the lowest among the 11 council areas.

According to the NI Statistics and Research Agency, Northern Ireland’s jobless total stood at 29,200 (3.2 per cent of the workforce) in December 2017, representing an increase of 100 from the previous month’s revised figure.

The increase was the first since January 2013, from which time the overall claimant count has fallen by 35,600 (54.9 per cent).