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Fall in Newry Job Seekers claims

Latest government figures show a significant decrease in the number of unemployment benefits claims being made in Newry and Mourne. The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) figures which cover all of 2013 show that there were 379 less claimants which amounts to a 10.4 per cent drop by the end of last year compared to the start of January 2013. However  there was a slight rise in the number of claimants towards the end of the year with 24 new Jobs Seekers claims being made in December 2013 – a 0.7 per cent rise from November. Newry and Mourne now has 3,278 Jobs Seekers Allowance Claimants of which 2,331 are male and 947 are female and in all 5.1 per cent of adults of working age claim the allowance. However this does not split equally among the sexes with only 3 per cent of females of working age claiming Job Seekers compared to 7.2 per cent of males. The fall in claims locally is marginally higher than the Northern Ireland average of 8.6 per cent and compares very favourably against other council areas such as Strabane which saw a negligible fall of 1.2 per cent of claimants, Derry (2.6 per cent) Fermanagh (4.7 per cent) and Ards (6.7 per cent). However several council areas had a substantially higher drop in claims with Ballymoney recording a 14.6 per cent fall, Larne 15.6 per cent, Carrickfergus 16.3 per cent and Moyle the highest  at 17.3 per cent. South Down MP Margaret Ritchie welcomed the fall in Job Seekers claimants in the Newry and Mourne area and says she hopes the trend will continue. “I hope it is a good sign that the 10.4 per cent drop means that more people have got meaningful jobs or are in training for work,” she said. “I would like to think that the department would not be involved in trying to conceal anything.” DETI figures show that Newry and Mourne accounted for 41of the 2,011 redundancies reported in Northern Ireland up to December 31 2013. Belfast posted the highest  number of redundancies at 552 with Lisburn second at 343. Newry and Mourne levels of redundancy with Castlereagh (132) and Limavady (118) though only one redundancy was confirmed for the Cookstown council area and no redundancies were reported for Magherafelt, Moyle and Strabane.


Newry Reporter

5th February 2014