Farry welcomes fall in unemployment rate, but cautions for the future

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stephen Farry has welcomed the fall in levels of unemployment in Northern Ireland.

During the three months to December 2016 the rate of unemployment fell to 5.3% compared to 5.8% the previous year.

Stephen Farry said: “I welcome this recent reduction, and the progress that we have seen over the past few years in addressing unemployment and economic inactivity. When I assumed office as Minister for Employment and Learning in May 2011, the claimant count was approaching 60,000. It is now almost halved.

“Northern Ireland’s position on the employment rate and the percentage of economic inactivity is now the best in decades. However, we should be under no illusion that a major challenge remains to address unemployment and economic inactivity, and in particular youth unemployment. We still have some of the worst figures in the UK, including the worst on economic inactivity. There are other structural problems in our economy, including low productivity levels.

“This election gives voters the opportunity to change how we do government and put in place a stable government that can work for the benefit of the entire community, not selfish interests. Political stability, combined with the investment in key economic drivers such as skills, is essential for any meaningful economic transformation.”

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