Dole queue hits 13 year high

Unemployment in Derry has reached a 13 year high, new figures reveal.

Stormont statistics released on Wednesday show a total of 5707 people are currently claiming unemployment related benefits in the city - that’s 8% of Derry’s working age population.

Over the past year unemployment in Derry has risen by 9.9%

Across the north unemployment has risen by 6.3% over the past twelve months.

Derry’s MP Mark Durkan says the latest figures highlight the need to create new jobs for the city.

“The figures add to the imperative of full implementation of the Regeneration Plan for this city. Indeed, with a sustainable economy comes sustainable employment.”

Mr Durkan says the north should learn from economic initiatives underway in England that include the creation of enterprise zones and university related hubs.

“Yet, here in Northern Ireland whenever we argue for a cross-border enterprise zone that could really work for the greater North West, the answer we get from the policy people in Belfast is ‘No, we can’t do anything like that.’

“Why, in Northern Ireland – and in particular here in the North West – aren’t we waking up to the economic ‘apps’ that are being promised by the Chancellor across the water?”

Derry continues to have the highest rate of unemployment amongst the North’s 26 local councils, with Strabane second and Limavady third.