1,536 are out of work

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The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw a slight decrease last month, down 26.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, the claimant count in the borough now stands at 1,536, compared to 1,562 in March.

Wards within the borough registering the most claimant counts for unemployment in April were Ballee 116 (122 in March), Castle Demesne 118 (125 in March), Harryville 109 (98 in March) and Dunclug 104 (115 in March). The area with the lowest claimant count last month was Slemish with 20, down one from 19 claimants in March.

Province-wide the number of people on unemployment benefit is continuing to fall with the number of claims down by 800 in April.

It’s the 15th consecutive monthly fall and the number now stands at 56,100.

The jobless figure has fallen by almost 9,000 over that 15 month period. However, the percentage of the working age population claiming the benefit remains the highest in the UK. It is currently 6.2%.

The other measurement of unemployment, the Labour Force Survey, shows a quarterly rate of 7.2%, down by 0.1% on the previous quarter.