North Antrim jobless rate has ‘stablised’ - Ian Paisley

LOCAL MP Ian Paisley has revealed unemployment statistics for North Antrim which, he says, show that the jobless rate has stabilised.

The stats reveal the number of unemployed in the area for August 2012 was 3,226. This represents a 6.7% proportion of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. In comparison, the figure of exactly one year ago ,for August 2011 was 3,120.

Mr Paisley said he believes that North Antrim should use the stabilisation and the latest figures as a platform for growth in the region.

The MP, who is currently developing a ‘skills exchange’ initiative within North Antrim in the hope of limiting unemployment in the area, is attempting to look for solutions during a challenging economic climate.

He said: “What we have to take from these figures is that unemployment levels have stabilised in North Antrim over the last year. What we need to attempt now is to reverse the trend in the midst of our deepest ever recession.

“We have generous array of large manufacturers within our boundaries, and these fantastic employers should be used as an exemplar for others who are looking to grow and further their business. We must now look to redirect and supply investment into the local SME’s of the area, where 95% of our business and employment comes from.

“I will continue to champion all businesses within my constituency and work together with them to generate new ideas and concepts with the aim of creating employment. All those employers in our area should be commended for their resilience and tenacity as they continue to prosper in a different era a,” he added.