Proposed Redundancies Have 'More Than Doubled'

Proposed redundancies more than doubled in the year to October 2020, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has revealed.

According to the latest labour market statistics 9,600 collective redundancies were proposed in the twelve months to the end of October, over double the number recorded in the previous twelve months. Record high numbers were recorded in June and July, and this is now translating into confirmed redundancies, with over 3,200 redundancy notifications received in the last four months.

During October, 820 redundancies were proposed, a decrease on the previous month's total of 1,150, and 1,240 redundancies were confirmed, an increase from the total of 460 confirmed in September and the highest monthly total this year. A further 710 were proposed in the current month to 6th November.

The figures also showed:

• In October 2020, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 60,200 (6.5% of the workforce). This is a decrease of 0.7% from the previous month's revised figure and is the sixth month that the claimant count was above 60,000; levels previously seen in 2012 and 2013.

• The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in September 2020 was 742,400, an increase of 0.1% over the month and a decrease of 0.7% over the year. The flash estimate for October shows a decrease of 0.1% on September's figure to 741,700.
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• Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,764 in September 2020, an increase of 0.7% over the month and 4.9% from the same time last year. The flash estimate for October shows an increase of 0.3% on September's figure to £1,769.

• The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16+ who were unemployed) for the period July-September 2020 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 3.6%. The unemployment rate increased over the quarter by 1.0 percentage points (pps) and by 1.0pps over the year. The quarterly and annual changes were statistically significant, i.e. the recorded change exceeded the variability expected from a sample survey of this size and was likely to reflect real change.

• The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter by 0.5pps and over the year by 1.7pps to 70.5%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in 2017.

• The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) decreased over the quarter by 0.3pps and increased over the year by 0.9pps to 26.8%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in 2017.

• Put into the context of the UK, NI has the lowest employment and unemployment rates and the highest economic inactivity rate of all the UK regions.

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