Slight fall in jobless total

The number of local people out of work and claiming benefits fell by 0.5 per cent last month, according to the government’s latest figures. The borough’s claimant count stood at 2,168 during July - 1,524 men and 644 women.

The figures represent a drop of 6.8 per cent over the year.

The Newtownabbey jobless total represents 4.1 per cent of the borough’s working age population - one of the lowest figures among Northern Ireland’s 26 council areas.

Welcoming the overall reduction in the province’s unemployment rate to 7.5 per cent, East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross commented: “Northern Ireland is one of the main success stories in the UK for attracting inward investment and this, coupled with increased confidence amongst the small businesses who make up the bulk of our economy, has led to a growth in employment on a sustained basis for the first time since 2007.”