DOWN District Councillor and the SDLP’s local spokesperson on the economy, Councillor Dermot Curran has spoken out following the publication of the Indexes of Services and Production for the second quarter of 2012 (labour figures).
Councillor Curran said: “The official number of unemployed people here in the North has risen to 70,000, with another 200 people signing up for unemployment benefit last month.
“Between June and August this year 8.1 per cent of the population were unemployed. Over the year, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has increased by 4.8 per cent, to 63,400, while in the UK as a whole the figure has fallen by 1.4 per cent.
“A large proportion of Northern Ireland’s unemployed are young people, with 21.1 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 now unemployed which is up 3 per cent over the year.
“It is imperative that we tackle the burden of employment regulation – and we in the SDLP would encourage businesses to support the Youth Employment Scheme, which provides support for businesses who hire a young person between the ages of 18-24.
“Any business which is thinking about recruiting or even interested in offering a young person a form of work experience please contact the local Jobs and Benefits Office as there are some excellent financial incentives available.”