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NI unemployment drops to 6.7%

The Northern Ireland unemployment rate fell to 6.7% between March and May 2014, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

The number of employed people now stands at 819,000, an increase of 7,000 over the quarter and 19,000 over the year.

Unemployment in Northern Ireland was down 1 percentage point between March and May 2014, compared to 0.4...

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Retail sales increase but hours worked falls

British retail sales experienced solid growth in the year to July 2014, as nearly half of businesses saw their sales increase, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI's latest trade survey found that 46% of retail firms saw a growth in sales in the year to July 2014, while a quarter (25%) saw sales volumes drop.

Key findings:

  • 51...
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UK broadband coverage 'not up to speed'

The government's targets for rolling out high-speed broadband to businesses across the UK need to be "much more" ambitious, according to a report by the Federation of Small businesses (FSB).

Whereas households have largely felt the benefits of increased high-speed broadband coverage, 45,000 businesses are still struggling with dial-up connections at speeds of 2 megabits per second (Mbps...

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Independent pensions guidance confirmed

Pension savers will have the right to free and impartial guidance on how to benefit from the pension reforms that come into effect in April 2015, the Treasury has announced.

From April 2015, around 300,000 people in defined contribution schemes will have greater freedom over how they access their savings, removing the requirement to buy an annuity.

Around 18 million are expected...

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Number of pensioner millionaires grows

More than 1 million UK pensioner households have total wealth of more than £1 million, research by Prudential has found.

The analysis, based on official figures for 2010-2012, reveals that the number of over-65 millionaires increased 69% compared to 2006-2008 when the number stood at around 636,000.

This means that 11% of pensioner households now have total wealth of more than £1...

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