Borough’s jobless total increases for second month in succession

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The number of people out of work and claiming benefits in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area rose by 1.6 per cent last month, according to the latest government figures.

After a slight drop in the local unemployment figure during December 2015, the number of people out of work went up by more than five per cent in January this year.

The March Labour Market Report reveals that the local jobless total stood at 2,263 during February - 1,641 men and 622 women - an increase of 35 people from the previous month.

The borough’s claimant count (2.6 per cent of the working age population) is still the third lowest among the 11 council areas.

According to the NI Statistics and Research Agency, the local jobless total has dropped by 12.7 per cent (328 people) over the past year.

Across Northern Ireland, the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits rose by 200 in February to 38,300.

The Northern Ireland unemployment rate now stands at six per cent, 0.9 per cent higher than the overall UK rate.