Northern Ireland

NI jobs growth 'best in UK regions', says Ulster Bank

Construction worker Image copyright PA
Image caption The PMI survey reported strong employment growth in the construction sector

Northern Ireland private sector firms reported the fastest rate of employment growth of all UK regions last month, according to new data.

Job creation was especially evident in the manufacturing, construction and services sectors, the Ulster Bank said.

The bank's chief economist, Richard Ramsey, said 10 months of growth in new orders "is feeding through into job creation with renewed vigour".

In March, staffing levels rose at their quickest pace since mid-2002.

That was when the bank first started compiling its Purchasing Managers Index, a monthly survey of firms that tracks new orders, employment and output.

"At the end of the first quarter of 2014, it is clear that Northern Ireland's private sector recovery is still firing on all cylinders," said Mr Ramsey.

"The most encouraging aspect of the latest survey concerns employment."

He said companies should continue to see a rise in new orders "for some time yet".

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