§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement, giving figures for the last convenient period, of the fall in unemployment and provision of new jobs in the Province.
§ Mr. Viggers
[holding answer 5 May 1988]: Trends in unemployment in Northern Ireland over the last year have been very encouraging. Seasonally adjusted unemployment (excluding school leavers) decreased by 9,000 192W between March 1987 and March 1988 and has fallen in all but two of the past 17 months. This has been matched by improved results from the industrial development agencies. Between them the Industrial Development Board and the Local Enterprise Development Unit promoted 9,347 new jobs during the year ended 31 March 1988, compared to 8,431 in the previous year.