The North Down Councillor and former Belfast Lord Mayor stated: “It is excellent news that Northern Ireland has bucked the UK trend and seen another fall in unemployment. That the rate here could be so far below that of Great Britain would have been unthinkable a decade ago, and is a welcome reminder that things have got better.
“However, the trend masks a very high level of economic inactivity here, for a variety of reasons. This means that we still do not have the proportion as high a proportion of our adult population in the workplace as we would like. Clearly, it also remains the case that private-sector employment levels are too low. There is a very real question mark over what would happen to our workforce if state-funded and state-subsidised jobs were not such a large part of our economy.
“We still have the need – and the opportunity – to get on and create well-paid jobs and challenging careers for our best people right here at home. While the economy and the job market are better than they were, they are still not as good as they should be.”