§ Mr. Rosindell
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the latest level of economic growth is in Northern Ireland. 
§ Mr. Pearson
Figures for headline gross value added (GVA) provided by National Statistics estimate Northern Ireland growth of 3.8 per cent. in 2001.
Employment information is often used as a proxy for economic growth as more up to date figures are available. In September 2003, there were an estimated 669,470 (seasonally adjusted) employee jobs in Northern Ireland. This represents an increase of 0.8 per cent. since September 2002 (compared with a UK decline of 0.01 per cent.) and an increase of 8.4 per cent. (51,790 people) over five years, almost twice as fast as the UK average growth rate of 4.3 per cent.