Northern Ireland

Unemployment: Northern Ireland figures fall to 36,100

The claimant count has fallen by 26,000 since the most recent peak in February 2013
Image caption Northern Ireland's unemployment rate fell to 6.0% but remains higher than the UK average of 4.9%

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northern Ireland has fallen by 600, according to official figures.

The jobless total in July stood at 36,100, after a fourth consecutive drop.

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate fell to 6.0% but remains higher than the UK average of 4.9%.

The figures also reveal a 5% jump in the number of youth unemployed compared to June.

A total of 9,125 people aged under 25 are claiming job-related benefits.

Economy minister Simon Hamilton said: "I am encouraged to see almost 7,000 fewer people on the unemployment register compared to one year ago.

"The unemployment rate is also continuing to head in the right direction and comparing very favourably to the European Union average of 8.6%."

Under-performing

Northern Ireland continues to under-perform the rest of the UK in terms of people in work.

Mr Hamilton said 21,000 more people were in work than a year ago.

The employment rate in Northern Ireland is 69% compared to the UK average of 74.5%.

"We will continue to work hard to build on this progress as we seek to achieve our aim of building a globally competitive economy," he added.

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