THE number of people claiming unemployment in Northern Ireland has fallen.
According to latest government statistics, the jobless total for April was 64,300, a monthly drop of 200.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate now stands at 8.1%, slightly higher than the UK average, but much lower than the IrishRepublic.
Economy Minister Arlene Foster said the fall in the number of jobless was a positive sign, despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy.
Around 60% of jobless people in Northern Ireland have been out of work for a year or longer.
There are also more people aged between 18 and 24 claiming benefit than a year ago.
The figures come off the back of several jobs announcements, including US insurance company Allstate pledging to create 650 jobs in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane over the next three years.
Dungannon-based Linden foods is to create 179 jobs at its meat processing plant and Lloyds banking groups is to create 160 jobs in Belfast, mostly in its fraud department.
The economy minister Arlene Foster said the fall in the number of jobless was a positive sign, despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy.
“My aim is to ensure the Northern Ireland Executive supports a business environment that is attractive to inward investors and encourages locally owned companies to grow,” Ms Foster said.