Derry and Strabane jobless figures ‘disgracefully high’

Liam Gallagher, Derry Trades Union. (DER5314MC091)
Liam Gallagher, Derry Trades Union. (DER5314MC091)

The new Derry and Strabane council area remains the council area in the North with the highest level of unemployment.

The Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) released their monthly Labour Market Report for May earlier this week and Derry and Strabane remain top with seven per cent of the working population currently out of work.

One of the reports key statistics was that unemployment throughout the North had dropped for the 27th consecutive month but the this trend has not been reflected in either Derry or Strabane.

Secretary of Derry Trades Council and Chairman of UNITE, Liam Gallagher, described the recent statistics as “disgracefully high”.

“The latest unemployment figures show that there is a drop in the claimant count for unemployment benefit for the 27th consecutive month in N.Ireland.

“Meanwhile the figure for Foyle remains disgracefully high with Derry and Strabane still topping the UK unemployment league.”

In terms of parliamentary constituencies, the Foyle constituency has the highest level of unemployment throughout the North, Scotland, England and Wales.

“The local economy is on life support and it urgently needs growth if we are to maintain second city status,” added Mr. Gallagher.

“Young people are leaving in greater numbers and there seems to be no drive to turn the situation around.

“We were told some time ago that a new focus group would urgently review the economic strategy.”

Mr. Gallagher believes the only practical way to the Derry and Strabane council area ever realising economic stability is through the already established One Plan.

“While any initiative is welcome it is a fact that years of hard work already went into an economic strategy culminating in the production of the One Plan and our focus should be in getting the necessary political will and resources to get it implemented.”