NI unemployment figures go up to 59,000

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The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland reached 59,000 in March - an increase of 100 on the previous month.

This latest monthly increase was the fourth largest in the 12 UK regions.

Over the past year, the jobless total here has risen by 3,300 - an increase of 5.9%. The annual increase in NI is the largest in the UK.

The number of young people on the dole is also rising.

A Labour Force Survey shows the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds in NI is 20.3%.