Mid Ulster’s economy has enjoyed a healthy start to 2016, with the area seeing the largest drop in unemployment of all the north’s councils.
Latest figures from the Department of Enterprise show the number of people seeking work in Mid Ulster fell by 27.1% in the last year.
In January, there were 1,935 benefit claimants in the council area, representing an unemployment rate of 2.1%.
This compared favourably against the same figure for Derry and Strabane (6.4%) and Fermanagh and Omagh (3.1%).
Commenting on the statistics for the last quarter, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: “Today’s figures show that although there are positive signals of growth in the local economy overall, the unemployment rate remains the same as one year ago. It is important therefore local businesses continue to develop through research and development, seeking new markets and promoting inward investment. I would encourage businesses to actively seek out these opportunities and to take advantage of Invest Northern Ireland’s continued support for local businesses.”
Meanwhile, a new report by InformDirect, compiled using information from Companies House, shows that in 2015, a total of 488 new businesses were set up in the Mid Ulster District Council area. That was the sixth highest total in Northern Ireland.