Derry still top of the claimant count chart

Uni Credit.
Uni Credit.

Derry remains firmly fixed to the top of NI’s benefits claimants’ chart.

Latest figures reveal that 4.9% of the working age population in the Derry and Strabane council district are claiming Universal Credit/ Jobseekers.

This is almost double the figure for the NI total which currently stands at 2.5%.

In all, there were 4,735 claimants in the Derry-Strabane council area last month - 2,970 men and 1,765 women - a rise of 30 on the previous month’s figure.

It also represents a 3.3% increase on the corresponding figure for this time last year.

Meanwhile, in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council district - which includes Limavady - there were 2,735 people (3%) on benefits in October. This represents an increase of 85 on the September statistic.

The council district with the lowest claimant count is Lisburn and Castlereagh where just 1.4% of the working age populace is receiving benefits.

The total claimant count for the whole of NI currently stands at 29,035 - 18,365 men and 10,665 women.

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said the era of a “buoyant” local labour market may be at an end.

“Earlier this year the unemployment rate plumbed an all-time-low of 3.1% and a record number of jobs. Skills shortages have been widely reported across a variety of sectors,” he said.

“The labour market report suggests that the local labour market is coming off the boil.”