Derry still top of jobless league

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Derry remains top of the North’s jobless chart, according to the latest research.

Statistics released this morning reveal that 8.7% of the Derry workforce are claiming benefits - that’s a rise of 3% on the previous month’s figure.

In all, 4,395 men and 1,818 women in the Derry council area are out of work.

It’s a similar situation in Strabane and Limavady where 7.6% and 7.5% of its respective workforces are on the dole.

Overall, across the North, there has been a slight rise in the unemployment rate.

According to the latest Labour Force Survey figures, the rate for the period from October to December 2012 was 7.8%, up by 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter.

However, there was no change in the monthly figure for the number of people claiming the dole in Northern Ireland.

The total stood at 65,000 for January, the same figure recorded in December.

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northern Ireland is the second highest among the twelve other surveyed regions.

The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland is now the same as the average rate for Britain.

At 7.8%, it is almost half that recorded in the Republic of Ireland, where the unemployment rate is 14.6%