Jobless stats prove need for Derry intervention
The latest unemployment statistics reaffirm the need for pro-active economic interventions in the north-West, Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has insisted.
“The latest unemployment figures show that this region remains the North’s unemployment blackspot,” Ms. Anderson commented.
“Just over 6.5%, or 4,549 people of working age, are out of work in the Derry City Council areas - an increase of 1,641 compared to a year ago. In Strabane 6.4% of people are looking for work while in Limavady the figure is 6.2%.
“With the feared job losses at stream and the ongoing magnified effect which the economic downturn is having on the region, these figures reaffirm the need for pro-active economic interventions in the North-West.
“The legacy of failed economic policy and under investment west of the Bann needs to be fundamentally addressed.
"The Executive's Programme for Government and Investment Strategy, agreed by all of the Executive parties, contains a clear commitment to tackle regional disparities. We need to see this delivered.
“This region should be declared an area of 'Area of Exceptional Economic Needs' with both the Belfast and Dublin administration prioritizing economic interventions here.
“The university needs to be expanded and public sector jobs need to be decentralized here as already recommended by the Bain Review. We also need to maintain the public sector jobs that we do have in the city.
“Unless we begin to take serious short and long term strategic measures now, this city and region will continue to suffer economically.”