A prominent Derry trade union activist says the latest unemployment figures “do little to inspire confidence in our local economy”.
Liam Gallagher of Derry Trades Counci,l says while the figures - released yesterday - show signs of growth in “manufacturing and construction in the greater Belfast region the situation for our unemployed and those listed as economically inactive remains doggedly high”.
“The fact is that we have less than 3,000 manufacturing jobs left in Derry and we are largely dependent on the public sector, welfare spend and low paid part time employment.
“It is estimated that £950 million will be lost through welfare reform to the Northern Ireland economy with the north west suffering the biggest deficit due to highest claimant rate.”
Mr Gallagher says this will compound an already grim picture.
“Meanwhile we are told by the Assembly that 17500 new jobs have been created in the last two and a half years. Where are they? How many of these are actual jobs and how many have actually been created in the North West? ,” he says.
The latest figures show 5877 people claimed unemployment- related benefits in Derry in December.