Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson Phil Flanagan has said that the latest statistics on the number of people unemployed here demonstrates that the continuing pursuance of austerity policies by the both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities locally.
Mr Flanagan, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said:
"Unemployment stands at 8.2%, but more tellingly, only two out of every three people of working age here are actually employed. Add to that the hundreds of qualified and skilled young people that are emigrating every week in search of employment elsewhere.
"This demonstrates that that the continuing pursuance of failed austerity policies by both the British and Irish governments is having a devastating impact on communities here.
"What we need to see is a move away from the failed policies of austerity and a move towards economic recovery that is based on job creation, reducing levels of poverty and on protecting our public services.
"The local Executive realise this with its Programme for Government investing £1bn into the economy. This includes an increased target of £365 million of foreign direct investment, £400 million from indigenous businesses and a £225 million injection into the jobs fund.
"However what is needed to accompany this is the transfer of Fiscal powers to allow local politicians to do more to affect the fortunes of the local economy, instead of fiscal decisions being made at Westminster with a Tory driven austerity mindset."