NI unemployment rate up 5,000 but still below UK average

Rate near record low but concerns remain about percentage of long-term unemployed

The number of people without a job in the North has risen from a record low to an estimated 33,000. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The number of people without a job in the North has risen from a record low to an estimated 33,000. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

 

The number of people without a job in the North has risen from a record low to an estimated 33,000, latest labour market statistics show.

Over the three months to June, the jobless total jumped by 5,000 people, pushing the unemployment rate to 3.8 per cent – still below the UK average rate of 4 per cent.

The latest figures highlight that there were 3,570 proposed redundancies over the last 12 months, which represented an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year.

Conor Lambe, Danske Bank’s chief economist said that, despite the rising unemployment rate, the labour market is in “relatively good shape”.

“The rate is still 1.5 percentage points lower than last year. The rate has also been below the UK-wide rate for the last four quarters,” he said.

But Mr Lambe added that Northern Ireland still had the highest rate of economic inactivity across the 12 UK regions.

The percentage of unemployed people who have been without a job for one year or more is 63.1 per cent in Northern Ireland, much higher than the 26.7 per cent observed for the whole UK.

According to PwC, one of the highlights of the latest labour market report is a slight fall in the number of people on zero-hours contracts, which is the lowest in the UK.