Local jobless total now 977

Editorial image
Editorial image

The number of people registering as out of work in Ballymena saw a small decrease in the past month, down 16 claimants.

According to the latest Economic and Labour Market Statistics from the Department of Enterprise for December, 2015, the local claimant count now stands at 977, compared to 993 in November.

Wards registering the most claimant counts for unemployment in December were Ballee and Ballykeel each with 80 claimants compared to 83 and 77, respectively, the previous month.

Next was Dunclug with 75 in December, compared to 76 in November, and Harryville with 65 claimaints, up one from the previous month.

The ward with the lowest number was Slemish with just 12 claimants, up two from 10 in November.

Province-wide, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 500 over the past month.

According to the latest official figures, the total number of claimants stood at 38,700 in December 2015.

The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits has fallen by 26,000 since the most recent peak in February 2013.

Commenting on the figures, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said: “While there is some indication of a reduction in economic inactivity, it remains to be seen whether this will continue.”