NI long term unemployed up nearly 20%

Published Wednesday, 20 February 2013
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The number of people who have been unemployed in Northern Ireland for a year or more has increased by nearly 20%, according to the latest market figures.

NI long term unemployed up nearly 20%
The number of those jobless for a year or more has increased by nearly a fifth. (© Pacemaker)

Of those unemployed, 58.9% have been without jobs for a year or more, which is an increase of 18.6% on the previous year.

The unemployment rate in the region increased 0.2% compared to the previous quarter - it is now 7.8% for the period of October-December 2012, the NI Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) estimates.

The region's rate is in line with the UK average, although the UK rate has decreased by 0.1%.

The rate is also lower than the EU average of 10.7% and Republic of Ireland's rate of 14.6%.

Young people continue to be affected by joblessness - the rate of unemployment in 18-24 year olds has increased by 2.3% to 19.1% compared to the UK average 18.7%.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits remained unchanged at 65,000 in January, which is the second highest claimant rate in the UK. The rest of the UK saw a 0.8% decrease.

Over the year, nearly 4,000 extra people signed on in Northern Ireland, while the UK as a whole saw fewer people claiming.

Seasonally adjusted estimates for October-December 2012 showed 799,000 people in employment in Northern Ireland.

We are calling for an early decision by the UK Government on the devolution of corporation tax, some two years after the release of the initial consultation, without any further delay.

Ian Coulter, CBI Northern Ireland

Commenting on the figures, DUP Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "The rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland was equal to that in the UK and still compares favourably to the rates in the European Union and the Republic of Ireland."

The minister noted that previous official statistics show a slight increase in private sector employee jobs and output in the third quarter of 2012.

"Although an increase in jobs and output suggests a degree of stabilisation, it is only to be tentatively welcomed as it is still too early to draw conclusions," Ms Foster said.

"The UK reported a fall in quarterly GDP at the end of 2012 after growth in the third quarter, suggesting that the timing of any recovery remains difficult to predict.

"Nevertheless, there are areas of growth in the world economy and our continuing priority must be to help Northern Ireland businesses identify and target such demand, wherever it exists."

The Confederation of British Industries (Northern Ireland) said the region continues to lag behind the recovery in the rest of the UK, where over 197,000 full time jobs have been created in the last three months - the greatest since records began in 1992.

Ian Coulter, chairman of CBI Northern Ireland also highlighted the latest job announcements in the Republic of Ireland.

"Ebay are creating a further 450 jobs in Dundalk, bringing its total workforce in Ireland to 2,300, and Facebook are creating 100 new jobs, bringing its total staff in the Republic to 500," he said.

"There is no doubt that the announcements in the Republic are inextricably linked to their lower rate of corporation tax.

"In addition, every job that is created by a multinational company there also creates another extra job in its domestic economy - in supply companies, retail and other services.

"Northern Ireland needs the same tool to attract multi-nationals in such numbers and help transform our economy."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
David in East Belfast wrote (559 days ago):
Too much money from the dole - especially when you add all the other benefits. Say what you like, there is not much incentive to work for a few pounds more!
Hugh in belfast wrote (559 days ago):
After listening to the news about the unemployment rate in this country, I was livid as I thought about this storey. I always believed that the media were there to inform us of whats going on, I also believe that the media here should be bringing issues to the attention of its viewers. I hear the storey about windsor pk getting £25 million plus what ravenhill and casement are to get, is outrages considering the situation we are in at this time. Ifeel it is your job to bring this issue foward. also the fact that david cameron is in india, telling them that there are open visas for these people. The amount of money spent on the various works so called art throughout the city where money has been wasted. hospitals and education suffer but we have great art work and lovely stadiums. Its really unbelieveable that you dont bring this to the attention of your viewers.
J farquhar in Co Antrim wrote (559 days ago):
Having just listened to Alison Fleming,s interview with Jamie Delargey, I would point out that the vast number of those unemployed for over a year have little or no qualifications comment made is incorrect. My 21 year old son has 8 gcse's 3 a levels , has been unemployed for over a year and can't get a job. Recently he has applied through steps to work on three work experience schemes and hasn't even had the decency of one acknowledgement from DELNI. So to say unemployed are demoralised is an understatement. Something else that requires to be addressed . If a job advertised is outside your local job centre, they really cannot help you. Or really don't want to help. One member of staff at last signing on actually laughed into my son,s face. Totally disgusted.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (559 days ago):
Its a no brainer that NI cant hope to compete with the ROI, especially due to Corporation Tax. The distance between Dublin and Belfast is 100 miles, any business just has to go down the road where corporation tax is lower, bigger population, closer links to the EU, etc Not to mention the recent disturbances by these illegal loyalist protests have cost 15-20 million in policing (which couldve made jobs in the economy for the unemployed) and have drove off foreign investment and even made alot of businesses struggle and lay off staff or close down altogether. NI has to have a corporation tax the same as the ROI or lower, it has to get tough with these loyalist protests and enforce the law (no one is above the law or democracy) and we need to leave sectarian bickering behind and concentrate on getting employment and investment into the 6 counties to the benefit of EVERYONE. Its funny how loyalists laugh at the republics difficulties and yet the republic is creating 10 times as many jobs than what NI is. They forget the republic is tied to the EU, which consists of France and Germany, both of which have bigger economies than Britain.
John in Dublin wrote (559 days ago):
I work with many people from NI in Dublin, alot on them only recently came to Dublin to live and work. Protestants and Catholics. They say salaries are alot higher here than in Belfast. It looks like the Irish economy is picking up with big job announcements every week. I read recently the government are still planning to build the road from Donegal around NI to Dublin costing €600 million. Hopefully this will happen soon and will create thousands of jobs north and south. Its best we work together on this small island for the good of us all.
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