18/12/2008

Employment Boost At NI Job Centres As Hundreds Sign On

While as many as 130 new civil service jobs are to be created next year in NI, this isn't necessarily good news overall, as the positions are in local job centres. The Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey (pictured) said this week that they were being created to deal with the increasing number of people looking for work.

On Wednesday it was announced that unemployment benefit claims last month showed the sharpest rise for 28 years.

"It's not the sort of recruitment I would like to be talking about, but it's essential and it's a by-product of the economic downturn," he said.

No wonder, as the latest figures show there was more than 550 confirmed job losses announced in Northern Ireland over the past week alone.

The number of claimants increased by 3,100 last month to 34,100, the largest monthly increase since October 1980.
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One-third of job losses were in the construction industry, but the government said other sectors were also being hit by the economic downturn.

The latest bad news is that an electronics company in Coleraine has announced proposals to cut its workforce by 92.

AVX Ltd is a Japanese-owned company that supplies ceramic capacitors to the global electronics market.

AVX Ltd has pledged to consult with employees affected by the proposals and their representatives. At one time, the company employed about 1,000 people in Coleraine.

There are also redundancies after administrators at Woolworths said all of its 807 stores would close by 5 January with hundreds of jobs to be lost at the high street chain's 19 shops in NI.

Job losses at a Co Antrim car parts manufacturer was also said to be a "bolt from the blue" this week.

Ninety-nine employees at Ryobi in Carrickfergus were told on Tuesday they would lose their jobs within a month.

See: Woolworths Stores 'To Be Closed By Early January'

(BMcC)

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