Northern Ireland

Unemployment figures: NI's rate falls slightly to one of the lowest on record

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Northern Ireland's unemployment rate has fallen slightly to one of the lowest rates on record according to official figures.

The rate fell 0.1% to 2.4% in the three months between October and December 2019 - the lowest of the UK regions.

Unemployment has been historically low in recent years, the last increase was a 0.2% between April and June 2019.

The employment rate, the percentage of working age adults in employment, dipped slightly in the last period.

It remains one of the highest rates on record at 72.4%.

However, this is still the second lowest employment rate of any UK region and well below the rate for the UK as a whole which is 76.5%.

Economic inactivity

NISRA, the official statistics agency, said the continued improvements in the NI labour market from 2017 are in keeping with the UK experience.

This has seen the highest employment on record, unemployment hitting its joint lowest on record, and economic inactivity at its lowest on record

Northern Ireland continues to have a significantly higher rate of economic inactivity compared to the UK average.

Economic inactivity is a measurement of those people who are not in work and not looking for work - that includes students, retired people and sick or disabled people.

The rate in Northern Ireland is 25.8% which is well above the rate in the rest of the UK of 20.6%.

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