Derry still the north’s dole capital

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The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits fell in Derry last month - but the city remains the north’s dole capital.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said he is “most worried” by the new figures released by Stormont on Wednesday.

The latest statistics show that last month the number of people out of work in Derry fell by 38.

Despite the drop, a total of 6189, or 8.7% of the workforce are currently claiming unemployment related benefits in Derry.

“I am most worried about the number of young people who are unemployed in the Region as a whole and in Derry in particular over the last twelve months,” Mr Ramsey says

“The young people facing barriers to participation in employment, education or training must be catered for by the Department for Employment and Learning and I am working through the Committee to ensure that those opportunities are afforded to people in need. “

The Derry MLA says it is vital the Stormont Executive make jobs a key priority.

“The SDLP has brought a motion forward for next Monday calling on the Executive to concentrate on jobs, and I intend to put forward Derry’s case,” he says.

The rate of unemployment in Derry is more than twice that in Antrim (3.9%), Ballymena (4.2%), Banbridge (4.3%), Castlereagh (3.5%) Larne (4.3%) and North Down (3.8%). In Strabane the unemployment figures stands at 7.5% of the workforce and in Limavady 7.1%