‘Obvious’ more jobs are needed for Derry- Eastwood

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood
SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood

Derry will remain the economic blackspot of Northern Ireland until the Executive moves to rebalance the economy with sustained investment in the city, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has warned.

Mr Eastwood made the comment following the publication of the latest claimant count figures which show the city remains at the summit of the unemployment league table.

The monthly figures for June show that 7.6% of working age people in the Foyle constituency claimed Jobseekers Allowance. Of working age males, 11% signed on while 4.5% of woman of working age claimed unemployment benefit.

Mr Eastwood said: “Recent job creation announcements in the city have been very welcome but it is obvious that many more are needed.

“To tackle unemployment Derry needs the tools to compete with Belfast, not least in terms of skills and transport infrastructure.

“The latest figures show the same problem as the last figures released and the figures published before that.

“It is a trend which has continued for years due to decades of economic neglect.”

Mr Eastwood added: “Derry now deserves special and sustained support to help it flourish and in turn to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy.

“The Executive must prioritise the upgrading of the A6 and A5 routes, the completion of the rail improvements promised and the expansion of the city’s third level education provision.”