Northern Ireland unemployment rises


THE NUMBER of jobless in Northern Ireland rose by 0.9 per cent between April and June despite total UK unemployment falling in the same period.

CBI Northern Ireland described the rise as extremely disappointing. Chairman Ian Coulter said: “While today’s UK figures show a continuing rise in employment accompanied by a continued fall in unemployment, the news for Northern Ireland is extremely disappointing if not unsurprising.”

He called for an urgent positive decision on the devolution of corporation tax powers to Northern Ireland to stimulate economic investment.

“To assist rebuilding business confidence we would ask the Executive to urgently consider what planned initiatives and capital spend projects can be accelerated this year to mitigate the national and international headwinds we face,” he said.

The number of UK jobless fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in June – the lowest for a year – and jobseeker allowance claims were down to 1.59 million in July.

As overall UK employment rose to nearly 30 million, most of the newly employed were based in London, where thousands of jobs were created by the Olympics.

Union leaders warned that unemployment could grow again as thousands of jobs created by the Games come to an abrupt end.

“This small fall is welcome but there will be no lasting Olympics legacy in the jobs market,” said Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison.