NI jobless lowest in Moyle

MOYLE is has lowest unemployment figures in the whole of Northern Ireland - and the number is declining!

The announcement comes after new statistics for June revealed a decrease in figures with 589 people in Moyle claiming benefits which represents 5.5% of the total resident population of working age in the area.

Meanwhile in Ballymoney, the claimant count recorded an increase to 1,005, 5.1% of the working age.

The new figures revealed an annual slide in Moyle of 14 people (2.3%) and a rise in Ballymoney of 37 (3.8%) - combining to 23 more people jobless than June 2011.

Outlining the latest labour force figures, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment also uncovered a gap in the male to female ratio with 434 unemployed men and 155 women in Moyle and 726 jobless men and 279 women in Ballymoney.

Not only one of the lowest claimant figure, Moyle also has one of the smallest job density indicators (the total number of jobs divided by the resident population of working age) with 0.44, wiht Ballymoney not far behind with 0.48.

One of only two Council areas to have unemployment lower than 1,000 people (Moyle and Larne), the local area was praised for it ‘respectable’ figures.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “The labour market data released show little quarterly change in the unemployment rate for Northern Ireland. The rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland (6.9%) still compares favourably to equivalent rates in the UK (8.1%), European Union (10.3%) and the Republic of Ireland (14.2%).

“Over the quarter, provisional results from the Index of Services report a fall of 1.6%, in real terms, in output for Northern Ireland. This has mainly been driven by falls in the Business services and finance sector whereas other sectors in the index all reported a quarterly increase in output. Provisional results from the Index of Production have also reported an increase, with a rise of 0.9% over the quarter and an increase of 2.2% over the year. This has resulted in the NI production sector outperforming the equivalent sector in the UK, which recorded a decrease over both these time periods.

“The improvements in industry output over the quarter and year are particularly welcome. We have undoubted strengths in advanced engineering and materials, agri-food, life sciences and information technology, that we need to continue to market overseas.

“InvestNI has a number of trade missions coming up in the next six months, to China and Malaysia and for the health and life sciences sectors, to Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

“On Monday, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kurdistan Regional Government, which will strengthen trade links and define areas of co-operation between the two regions. Kuridstan is a rapidly growing economy and I am keen to promote further opportunities for our local companies.

“These are all ideal opportunities for businesses to sustain and develop existing relationships or for innovative companies to explore new markets. Our focus on exports is generating real benefits for the economy and I would encourage businesses to continue to build their market presence overseas.”