Unemployment rising among young people

Almost one in 10 young people are unemployed in Northern Ireland, according to official data.

The number of people overall claiming unemployment-related benefits rose by 800 to 62,700 in August.

That is more than double the number in March, the Labour Force Survey showed.

It said: "The data indicates that the quarterly increase was driven by those under 35 years, with the youth unemployment rate (16-24 years) estimated at 8.2%."


Youth unemployment rate

The survey continued: "Similarly, employment and inactivity rates of those under 35 years worsened (decreasing and increasing respectively) over the quarter."

Young people have been particularly affected by the economic contraction caused by the pandemic.

The most recent estimates from the survey showed the first "statistically significant" quarterly increase in the unemployment rate since October 2012 - a rise of 0.6 percentage points to 2.9% from February to July.

Claimant numbers have increased despite a range of Government support measures and the jobs protection furlough scheme.

A total of 9,160 redundancies were proposed in the 12 months to the end of August, more than double the number recorded in the previous 12 months.


Number of proposed redundancies from August 2019-2020

Record high numbers were recorded in June and July, and this is now translating into confirmed redundancies, which have started to increase following a period of relatively low numbers between March and June, the survey showed.

The number of confirmed redundancies (3,880) in the most recent 12 months was also more than double the previous 12 months (1,780).

Ulster Bank chief economist in Northern Ireland Richard Ramsey said Covid-19 had an impact on jobs data.

He added: "Increased demand for health-related jobs but the new working from home era means many admin and support service activities will no longer be required."