Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland employment 'reaches record level'

Jobseeker using touch screen machine in JobCentre

New government figures record a further fall in unemployment in Northern Ireland, while the number of people in work is said to have reached a record level.

The number claiming jobs-related benefits dropped by 600 in May to 32,700.

According to figures from the Department for the Economy, unemployment has decreased in all but three months of the past two years.

There are also other positive figures.

The employment rate has risen to almost 70%, which the department says is the highest since data began being complied in 1995.

The number of people aged over 16 in employment between February to April 2016 was estimated at 841,000 - up by 18,000 on the same period in 2015.

Long-term and youth unemployment are also down, as is economic inactivity.

But in all these measures of the labour market, Northern Ireland continues to compare poorly to the rest of the UK.

The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland has increased slightly to 5.8%. In the rest of the UK it is 5%.

More on this story