200 added to Derry dole queue in January

Photo Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker Press
Photo Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker Press

Almost 200 people signed on in Derry last month bringing the number of people o the dole in the city back over the 6000 mark.

Stormont figures released this morning show that a total of 6053 - that’s 8.5% of the city’s working age population - were claiming unemployment related benefits in the first month of 2014.

A total of 176 people joined the dole queue in January. The claimant rate in Derry remains the highest of the all the north’s council areas.

SDLP council candidate in the Foyleside ward Rory Farrell said the figures serve as a “a stark reminder of the economic issues our city continues to face.”

“There needs to be a concerted effort from Stormont’s leadership to address this growing problem. We need investment in infrastructure, both road and rail, and we need increased capacity at Magee campus. Derry has amazing potential but the fundamentals that investors require have not been delivered by the Sinn Féin/DUP-controlled Executive.

“The One Plan has ambitious job creation targets for Derry linked to the successful regeneration of Fort George and Ebrington. Masterplans and frameworks have been produced but little has been delivered. These sites can be the economic drivers for the city, they can sustain thousands of jobs but only if the proper levels of funding are provided by the Executive,” he said.

Across the north 1730 people were added to the claimant figures in January, 5.1% (59,829) of people of working age are now claiming benefits.