Derry out-of-work rate double NI rate

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The rate of Derry and Strabane workers drawing welfare because they were unemployed was close to double the rate for the North as a whole in June, new figures have revealed.

Claimant count data published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency this week show 4,505 people in the city and district were claiming either Jobs Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit, because they were unemployed, last month.

That equated to 4.7 per cent of the Derry workforce. The rate for the North as a whole was just 2.5 per cent.

Six per cent of working age men (2,835) in Derry and Strabane were on the dole, which was close to double the 3.2 per cent rate across the North.

Equally, 3.4 per cent of working age women (1,670) in the district were on JSA or UC because they were unable to secure work: the rate in the North was 1.8 per cent.

The situation has deteroriated. It got worse between May and June as well as year-on-year the new data show.

For example, between May and June 50 additional out-of-work workers joined the Derry and Strabane dole queues, which was a hike of 1.1 per cent.

And there were 95 more people claiming either JSA or UC because they were out of work last month than there were in June 2018, a surge of 2.1 per cent over the 12 months.

The new experimental claimant count rate was introduced by NISRA last year following the introduction of UC in the North.

It includes JSA claimants and those out-of-work UC claimants who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed.

The rates are released on a monhtly-basis by the statistics office.