Derry dole queue doubles in just four years

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The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in Derry has more than doubled in just four years.

Stormont statistics released this morning show a total of 5,862 people are currently claiming unemployment related benefits in the city - that’s 8.2% of Derry’s working age population.

During April a total of 48 people made new claims for unemployment related benefits. Over the last 12 months, a total of 452 people have joined the dole queue in the city.

In May 2008, the number of people out of work in the city stood at 2,748, or 4% of the city’s working population.

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said the latest figures show “that jobs, quality jobs, remained the most pressing priority for this city and its people.”

“There is no doubt that the City of Culture will offer a tremendous chance for this city to generate economic expansion.

“The truth, however, is that these events alone will not make a sufficient dent in this city’s unemployment crisis. More needs to be done.

“Stormont needs to finally hear the message that jobs, quality jobs, remains the pressing priority for this city and our people,” he said