City remains unemployment blackspot

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Almost 200 people left Derry’s dole queue last month according to new figures - but the city remains the north’s unemployment black spot.

The statistics, released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), reveal the unemployment figure in Derry is the highest of all the North’s local council areas.

Figures for November show the unemployment rate in the city currently stands at 8.2% - more than double the rate in Antrim, Ards, Ballymena, Banbridge, Castlereagh, Larne, Magherafelt, Newtownabbey and North Down.

In total 5855 people in the city are currently claiming unemployment related benefits - a drop of 173 people in the previous month.

The fall in Derry is mirrored across the North where the number signing on fell by 600.

Employment minister Arlene Foster welcomed the drop and said she believed private sector growth would underpin further recovery.

“Private sector jobs have now increased in two of the last three quarters, after a prolonged period of decline.

“While this increase is not particularly marked, the change in direction is welcome.

“There remains considerable uncertainty in European and global markets, but a strategy that seeks to grow the private sector remains the best way forward,” she said.

Meanwhile, the latest figures also show that in Limavady the unemployment rate currently stands at 6.8% while in Strabane 7% of the working age population are currently out of work.