Slight drop in unemployment

THE unemployment figures took a slight turn for the better last month.

During June, 20 claimants stopped signing on which brought the total number of registered unemployed people in the Craigavon area to 3,220. This figure is made up of 2239 men and 981 women.

The bigger picture is more bleak. In the past year there have been 249 new claimants, representing an 8.4% increase in unemployment. In terms of redundancies, in the past year up to June there have been 62 people laid off in the borough.

Commenting on the latest figures, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “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%).”

She continued: “The improvements in industry output over the quarter and year are particularly welcome. We have undoubted strengths that we need to continue to market overseas.”