Posted on Wednesday 13 November 2013 by Ulster Business

2011 11 16 Professional unemployment

Jobs figures today provided another sign the economic recovery is gathering pace, with the number of people claiming unemployment benefits down for the ninth month in a row.

Northern Ireland's claimant count fell by 600 in to 61,000 in October from the previous month, meaning there has been a fall of 3,900 in the claimant figures over the last nine months.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.3% for the July to September period, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter – putting Northern Ireland below the UK average (7.6%) and the Republic of Ireland's most recent measure (13.6%).

The news came on the same day iconic manufacturer Harland & Wolff announced plans to create 600 temporary positions for a 60 day oil rig fit out contract, around 200 of which will be recruited from the local labour pool.

Commenting on the unemployment figures, Danske Bank Chief Economist Angela McGowan said: "Today's labour market data, combined with this week's good news about falling inflation, should help to strengthen consumer and business confidence in the economic recovery. Business surveys and the hard data are all pointing to a solid recovery for 2014."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster also said the jobs figures were encouraging.

"The more recent continued decrease in the unemployment rate as well as the fall in unemployment benefit recipients demonstrates that there is some improvement in the labour market which is to be welcomed," she said.

"A lot of work is going in to encouraging investment into Northern Ireland. Building on the success of last month's Investment Conference, 20 local companies from a variety of sectors including food, legal and manufacturing are currently participating in an Invest NI Trade Mission to Ningbo and Shanghai in China. Later this week, I plan to travel to Dubai to support a number of local businesses who will be exhibiting at Dubai Airshow along with others who are attending Seafex, the Middle East and Africa Seafood Exhibition," the Minister added.

"These events showcase Northern Ireland as a great place to do business, thanks to its competitive cost base, developed infrastructure and highly skilled workforce. New foreign investment and export opportunities, along with continued support from Invest NI, will undoubtedly provide quality opportunities for local businesses and people, contributing to the growth of our local economy."



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