Northern Ireland sees increase in unemployment

Up to 80 jobs under threat in Antrim

Derry. Unemployment in Northern Ireland has risen.

Derry. Unemployment in Northern Ireland has risen.

 

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the North jumped to 29,500 people last month, new government statistics show.

The latest Northern Ireland labour market report also details that over the last 12 months the number of confirmed redundancies in the North has surged by 33 per cent to 2,741.

The majority of these job losses – 41 per cent – took place in the manufacturing sector, which was higher than the previous year and the trend is likely to continue as the Department of the Economy has been informed of another 263 proposed redundancies between mid-October and mid-November 2018.

The NI labour market report, released on Tuesday, charts a rise in the North’s jobless rate to 4.1 per cent over the three months to September to bring it level with the overall UK average rate (4.1 per cent).

However this was still below the European Union rate of 6.8 per cent and the Republic’s 5.6 per cent rates for August 2018.

But the percentage of people in the North who have been without a job for over a year was 50.4 per cent which is “markedly higher” than the UK average rate of 25.5 per cent.

The rising jobless figures come as the trade union Unite warn 80 jobs could be under threat at the Camden Group in Antrim which manufacturers and supplies uPVC windows and doors to the construction industry.

Unite’s regional officer, George Brash said: “We understand from management at the Camden group in Antrim that they will be making up to 80 workers redundant as a result of a sudden loss of a supply contract.

“This represents a very substantial proportion of the approximately 500 strong workforce in the company and will be a severe blow to the workers affected. Unfortunately Unite does not hold formal union recognition at the company.”

The Camden Group has not commented on the potential for redundancies at its Antrim operations.