Redundancies double in Northern Ireland in last 12 months

The claimant count has remained above 60,000 for four consecutive months. Credit: UTV

A further 820 people have been made redundant in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures.

According to the Labour Market Survey, a total over of 62,700 people are claiming benefits - which is equivalent to 6.8% of the workforce.

August was the fourth month that the claimant count was above 60,000 - levels which haven't been seen since 2013.

The unemployment rate now sits at 2.9% in Northern Ireland following an increase of 0.6% between May and July - the first statistically significant quarterly increase in the unemployment rate since October 2012.

The youth unemployment rate - that is, people between 16 and 24 years - is estimated at 8.2%.Record high numbers of proposed redundances were recorded in June and July and this is now beginning to translate into confirmed redundancies, which have started to increase following a period of relatively low numbers between March and June.

In the month of August, the Department for the Economy was notified of 820 confirmed redundancies, bringing the annual total to 3,880 - more than double what it was at the same point last year (1,780).

There were 700 proposed redundancies in August, with a further 880 proposed in the first two weeks of September.

A total of 9,160 redundancies were proposed in Northern Ireland between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, the highest annual total since records began and more than double the number recorded in the previous twelve months.

Companies are legally required to notify the Department of impending redundancies of 20 or more employees.

The average number of hours worked by people across Northern Ireland has also fallen by 16% over the year. It now sits at 28.1 hours per week - a decrease of 5.5 hours.