To firstly discuss the general statistics of the county of Fermanagh, its population is 57,527. This accounts for 3.4% of the total Northern Ireland population. (Fermanagh had a mid-year population estimate in 2008 of 62,000.). 50.09% of the Fermanagh population is male and 49.91% female. 24.09% of the population is under 16, 62.07% is of working age and 13.84% is 65 and over. The population of the particular town in Fermanagh where I live is 13,587.
Looking at earnings in Average gross weekly earnings in Fermanagh, they are approximately £336.20 (mean) compared with the NI average of £424.60. The latest casualties of the recession come as figures went above 1,000, reflecting the fact that 44 per cent of those who joined the dole queue in Northern Ireland during the month were from the building and construction industry. This is a male dominated industry and there are now four times as many men as women in Fermanagh without a job.
The latest unemployment figures show that in December the total number of people out of work in the county went up by 46, or 4.3 per cent, to 1,105. The number of men without a job stands at 886, or 4.4 per cent of the male workforce, compared with 219 women, representing 1.2 per cent of the female workforce. The combined figures put unemployment in Fermanagh at 2.9 per cent, which is below the Northern Ireland average of 3.3 per cent.
Furthermore, Fermanagh has one of the highest rates of business start up in Northern Ireland, evidence of a thriving entrepreneurial culture.