Sean Neeson MLA said: “This news shows that the economic downturn is still continuing to have a big effect on people in Northern Ireland.
“The Northern Ireland jobless figure is now rising faster than anywhere else in the UK. The Executive must act now to help combat this level of unemployment, particularly in public service contracts. They must urgently create a green new deal and harness the potential that this holds.
“So far the Executive’s response to the economic downturn has been minimal in its effectiveness. They must do better, and they must do better now.”