THE number of people in Northern Ireland signing on for unemployment benefit was up again December.
But the unemployment figure decreased overall in the last quarter.
However, at 7.9%, it still remains slightly higher than the UK average of 7.7%.
The NI rate remained below the European Union’s of 10.7% and that of Republic of Ireland, 14.7%, both for October 2012.
The seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for Northern Ireland for the period September – November 2012.
The December Claimant Count recorded an increase of 500 people compared to the month before and is currently at 65,200.
The economic inactivity rate for those aged 16-64 in the region stands at 26.9%.
This rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points over the quarter and by 0.2 percentage points over the year.
Despite this, Northern Ireland is still above the UK average rate of 22.5% and was also the highest rate out of all the UK regions.
In fact, in the last 33 months, the province has had the highest or second highest unemployment rate among the twelve UK regions.
Almost 300 people were made redundant in December, with 190 redundancies proposed for the mid- December to mid-January period.