1,021 locals now out of work

Editorial image
Editorial image

The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw a slight increase in the past month, up 44 claimants.

According to the latest Economic and Labour Market Statistics from the Department of Enterprise for December, 2016, the local claimant count now stands at 1,021 compared to 977 in December, 2015.

Wards registering the most claimant counts for unemployment were Ballee with 90 - up 10 from December (80), Ballykeel with 83 (80 in December), Dunclug with 71 (75 in December) and Castle Demesne with 70 (61).

The ward with the lowest was Slemish with 12, a non-mover from 12 claimants in December, last year.

Province wide, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 800 over the past month.

The total stood at 37,800 in January 2016, according to the latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, down 10,300 over the past 12 months.

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said the figures show “that although there are positive signals of growth in the local economy overall, the unemployment rate remains the same as one year ago”.

“It is important therefore local businesses continue to develop through research and development, seeking new markets and promoting inward investment,” said Mr Bell.