6,000 redundancies proposed in NI since Covid-19 crisis began

  • Almost 9,000 redundancies have been proposed in Northern Ireland in the last year, with nearly 2,000 redundancies being put forward in July 2020 alone.

    6,000 of these proposed redundancies have been made since March and the start of the coronavirus lockdown in NI.

    Northern Ireland’s Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) published statistics today which show that 1,904 redundancies were proposed in July this year, following almost 2,500 in June. A further 163 were proposed between 1 and 10 August.

    Confirmed redundancies in the last 12 months reached over 3,000 - 74% higher than in the previous year, which had 1,785.

    NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 610 redundancies took place in July 2020. 

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    Companies are required to notify the government when they plan to make more than 20 people redundant. There is a time lag between proposed redundancies and confirmed redundancies because of the amount of notice employers must give employees.

    NI’s unemployment rate has increased, but NISRA said it still remains one of the lowest rates on record.

    In July, 62,800 people in NI were claiming unemployment-related benefits and it is the third consecutive month that the claimant count was above 60,000; levels previously seen in 2012 and 2013.

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    The UK’s employment levels as a whole fell by the largest amount in over a decade between April and June, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a decrease by 220,000 in the quarter.

    BBC News NI detailed that this was the largest quarterly decrease since May to July 2009, amidst the consequences of the 2008 recession.

    26.4% of people aged 16 to 64 in NI are not working or are not seeking to work, otherwise known as the economic inactivity rate. This number has increased marginally over the last year, and Northern Ireland now has the highest economic inactivity rate compared to all other UK regions, NISRA reported.

    NISRA also said that in the context of the entire UK, Northern Ireland has both the lowest employment and unemployment rates.

    The average number of hours worked per week is now the lowest on record at 27.1 hours per week, a decrease of 6.8 hours per week or 20% over the year.

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