16/12/2010

Building Jobs Losses Hit NI Dole Figure

The construction sector has again been highlighted as a major factor in rising unemployment levels.

Figures released today for the period August - October 2010 show that the Northern Ireland unemployment rate has increased over the quarter to reach 7.6%.

Christmas may be less than two weeks away, but there is little cheer for the thousands of people who are out of work with even more recent figures (for November) showing that the number of unemployment benefit claimants had actually increased again - by 100 - from the previous month's revised figure to 58,500

The total number of employee jobs was estimated at 697,630 for September 2010 - a fall of 940 over the quarter.

However, after eight consecutive quarterly decreases, the number of private sector jobs had increased by 430 during the latest quarter.

This net decrease over the quarter also meant a fall of 5,240 over the year and the drop was again driven by falls in the Construction sector (-690) and Service sector (-410) jobs, although the Manufacturing sector increased by 110 jobs.

This quarterly decline was the ninth successive decrease in the seasonally adjusted employee jobs series. However, this was the second smallest decline in employee jobs since the series peaked in June 2008 and was only 28% of the average quarterly decrease since the downturn started.

Commenting on the figures, NI Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster said: "It was disappointing to note the latest increase in the unemployment rate for Northern Ireland.

"Nevertheless, our unemployment rate (7.6%) is still lower than the corresponding rate for the United Kingdom (7.9%) and it also compares favourably to the latest European Union (9.6%) and Republic of Ireland (14.1%) figures.

"Although the figures for November 2010 show a marginal increase of 100 in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits, over recent months there has been a notable slowing in the rate of increase, with the latest monthly increase much less marked than last year."

The Minister continued: "The Quarterly Employment Survey results for September 2010 also indicated a slow down in the rate of job losses in Northern Ireland.

"The latest quarterly decrease in jobs was approximately one quarter of the average fall in jobs since the start of the downturn.

"The industry driving this quarter's job losses was once again the construction sector, as firms continue to find economic conditions difficult.

"However, on a brighter note, manufacturing companies reported an increase in jobs for the second consecutive quarter and the number of private sector jobs increased for the first time in two years," the DUP Minister continued, noting that her Department was notified of 122 confirmed redundancies in November 2010. This compared to 119 in October 2010 and 389 in November 2009.

There has been a 53% decrease in the number of confirmed redundancies over the last year to 30th November 2010 - 2,219 compared to 4,703 in the previous year.

(BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 March 2020
Govt Support Grants To Ease Cash Flow Pressures
Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 have been made available to ease the cash flow pressures on eligible small businesses. The Northern Ireland Executive announced the schemes as it steps up measures to protect local firms impacted by coronavirus.
15 April 2016
NICEI Report Finds Slight Increase In NI Economy
The economy in Northern Ireland grew by 0.9% in the last quarter of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. The number was revealed in the latest NI Composite Economic Index (NICEI), which was published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.
14 December 2011
Modest Fall In Unemployment Welcomed
There has been an official welcome for a modest fall in unemployment rate. Figures released today for the period August - October 2011 show that the Northern Ireland unemployment rate fell over the quarter from 7.4% to 6.9%.
15 April 2009
Recession Hitting NI Retailing And Construction Sectors Hardest
While the construction industry 'led' the way in a league of poorly performing NI businesses sectors, it has emerged that retail businesses have also performing been badly in the local economy this year.
18 April 2007
Northern Ireland's Unemployment Rate Remains Low
Northern Ireland's unemployment rate remains below the UK average with output levels for manufacturing and services showing a larger annual increase than the UK. The Northern Ireland seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.6% for the period December - February 2007. This is slightly higher than the rates of 4.2% and 4.