Labour market: 4,400 redundancies proposed by firms in the past two months

Official data shows NI companies proposed 4,400 redundancies during June and July. 
Ryan McAleer

COMPANIES have announced plans to cut 4,400 jobs in Northern Ireland during the past two months, accroding to the latest labour market report.

The NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) said there were 1,904 proposed redundancies in Northern Ireland during July and a further 163 in the first ten days of August.

It follows around 2,500 proposed redundancies in the north during June.

Businesses preparing to cut more than 20 staff are legally required to notify the Department for the Economy. Therefore, the figure potentially omits a considerable number of the jobs lost last month.

However, the 12 month rolling figure for proposed redundancies (August 1 2019 to July 31 2020) now stands at 8,755, the highest on record.

There were 610 confirmed redundancies during July.

NISRA said the number of people claiming unemployment benefits here rose by 500 in July.

The north’s claimant count has increased by 33,000 since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March. It includes people on Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, claiming mainly for the reason of being unemployed.

The labour market report put the figure at 62,800 for July, equal to 6.8 per cent of the workforce. However, the latest reference point for the data was July 9.

The labour market report estimated that the total hours worked by people in Northern Ireland fell by 6.1 million to 23.6 million hours between April and June, 20 per cent below the same period in 2019.

Redundancies and the claimant count are expected to continue to rise in the second half of 2020 as the UK’s Job Retention Scheme is wound down.

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