Drop in borough’s benefit claimants

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THERE has been a welcome fall in the number of local people out of work and claiming benefits.

The government’s latest figures reveal that Newtownabbey’s unemployment level dropped by almost two per cent last month.

According to the Department of Employment’s Labour Market Report, the borough’s jobless total stood at 2,091 during December - 1,491 men and 600 women. That represented a decrease of 41 people (1.9 per cent) from the previous month, but a rise of 2.9 per cent (58 people) over the past year.

The percentage of the borough’s working age population out of work and claiming unemployment benefit now stands at 3.9 per cent - the sixth lowest figure of Northern Ireland’s 26 council areas.

Across Northern Ireland, the figures for December show that the number of unemployment benefit claimants increased by 0.2 per cent from the previous month to 60,700.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...