Derry had the highest unemployment rate for the month of February of all local council areas in the North of Ireland.
Statistics released by Department of Trade and Investment yesterday showed the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Derry in January increased by 29 in February with a total of 6,082 people of working age claiming the benefit.
The percentage of people of a working age claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Derry was at 8.6 per cent for the month of February. This is the highest percentage in the North of Ireland.
However, when compared with the same figures last year there are 73 less people claiming Job Seekers Allowance - a decrease of 1.2 per cent.
Local Derry trade unionist and Chairman of the Irish Executive of Unite, Liam Gallagher described the recent figures as “depressing” and called on all locally elected representatives to “work harder and do more”.
“The latest unemployment figures are particularly depressing for Derry when the economic news coming from the rest of Northern Ireland is good.
“Belfast has received significant job investment but the same is needed for Derry.
“We have six MLAs, an MP and an MEP in the Derry area. Their wages, which are significant, cost the taxpayer a lot of money but still we find ourselves living in the area with the highest unemployment rate in Northern Ireland.
“The unemployed feel utterly abandoned and unless significant capital investment is made in the North West area the problem will worse.
“It’s time for our politicians to work harder and do more,” he said.