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Northern Ireland unemployment levels lower than EU and Republic

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Northern Ireland had lower unemployment than the Republic of Ireland for April 2018.

Unemployment levels in Northern Ireland were lower than those in the Irish Republic for April 2018.

The latest figures released through the Labour Force Survey showed also Northern Ireland also had a higher employment rate than the European Union average for April.

The unemployment rate for Northern Ireland between March-May 2018 was the joint fourth lowest on record with just 3.5% of the population unemployed.

The figures compare favourably to the United Kingdom (UK) average of 4.2% for the same period.

In April, the European Union unemployment rate was 7.1% and 5.9% in the Republic of Ireland.

However, in Northern Ireland only 69.8% of working age adults are in work compared with 75.7% in the UK.

The figures estimate that between March and May 59% of those unemployed were long-term unemployed (for one year or more) compared to 27.1% of people in the UK.

Northern Ireland also has higher economic inactivity than the UK with 27.5% of working-age people not working and not seeking or available for work compared to 21% in the UK.

Northern Ireland's unemployment rate was unchanged over the quarter and decreased from 5.3% over the year.

Employment has increased by just 1.1% over the year and 0.3% from March to May.

Responding to the figure Upper Bann DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said the figures were proof of Northern Ireland's potential for growth.

“There is much to celebrate about the unemployment rate in Northern Ireland. Our economy is growing with inward investment and companies expanding. Northern Ireland has so much potential with one of our best resources being our skilled workforce," Mr Buckley said.

"When I was a child, it would have been scorned if you suggested that Northern Ireland’s unemployment rate could one day be lower than that of the UK average, the Republic of Ireland and the EU.  Whilst our unemployment figures are positive, we cannot be complacent as there are challenges as well particularly the economic inactivity rate.

"Bringing more and better jobs to Northern Ireland is a priority for the DUP. That’s one of many reasons why we need to have a functioning Executive. When our economy is growing, it has an effect on every aspect of society. It is during the good times when a government should be investing and building for the next generation.  Unfortunately we are in a state of limbo when we should be busy building."

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Northern Ireland had lower unemployment than the Republic of Ireland for April 2018.