Unemployment falls in 2013 but north west remains north’s dole hotspot

Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker Press
Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker Press

The number of people signing on in Derry fell by almost 3% in 2013 but the city still has the north’s highest rate of unemployment.

New Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment figures release this morning show 5877 people claimed unemployment related benefits in Derry in December - a drop of 155 (2.6%) on the same time last year.

The current rate of people of working age in the city claiming the dole now stands at 8.3% - more than double the rate in Antrim, Ballymena, Banbridge, Castlereagh, North Down and Newtownabbey.

The drop in the number of people signing on over the last twelve months in Derry is dwarfed by the number of people who came off the dole in Moyle (-17%), Carrickfergus (-16%), Larne and Ballymoney ( both -15%).

Only Strabane, where the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits fell by just 1.2% over the year, had a smaller percentage change than Derry.

Jimmy Kelly, regional secretary of trade union Unite said:” “Today’s figures offer little comfort to the unemployed. What is needed is a sustained strategy designed to grow investment, grow enterprise, and grow wages and living standards.”