SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has called for more government action to combat unemployment in Derry and Strabane.
She noted that only four council wards in the north has a higher claimant rate than 10% and they are all in the North West.
Three of the wards are in Derry & Strabane council area - Diamond (13.8%), Strand (11.8%), East Strabane (11.5%) and one is in Limavady - Greystone (13.5%).
The figures also show that Derry/Strabane had the highest number of workers who were out of work and dependant on Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit for income at 5.5%.
She said: “The latest labour market figures show that so far the COVID pandemic has not had the widespread impact on unemployment that had been feared. Yet there are signs of continuing underlying problems and inequalities.
“Economic inactivity – our hidden unemployment – has again got worse in the North of Ireland, in contrast to the trend in Great Britain. The lack of affordable childcare here is one factor, while our longer healthcare waiting lists are another."
The SDLP MLA said the figures for the Derry area are worrying.
“I am particularly concerned by the inequalities shown up by these latest statistics. All four areas with the very highest levels of unemployment, above 10%, are in the North West, with three of the areas in the Derry and Strabane District Council area. Similarly, unemployment in the Derry travel to work area is much higher than in other parts of the North.
“The economy minister keeps shrugging his shoulders and saying it is not his job to urge investors to prioritise the North West. But the truth is that it is way past time that he did tell InvestNI to encourage more private sector investment into the North West. The unemployment statistics tell their own story.”