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Union warning after 'devastating' manufacturing job losses

Northern Ireland may have lost nine per cent of manufacturing jobs between 2019 and 2021, analysis by the GMB union suggests.

NORTHERN Ireland may have lost up to 8,000 manufacturing jobs during the pandemic, new research suggests.

The GMB union said the loss of 7,900 jobs in the sector between 2019 and 2021 represented a fall of almost nine per cent in two years.

The statistics, presented at the union's annual congress in Harrogate on Monday, indicated Northern Ireland supported 90,400 permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs during 2019.

By the start of this year, the GMB said that total had fallen to 82,500.

The union said 170,400 jobs in all had been lost UK-wide across the sector between 2019 and 2021.

GMB national officer Charlotte Childs said every region in the UK suffered a decline in manufacturing employment.

She described the loss of jobs as "devastating".

"Unless ministers address this urgently there could be worse to come,” she said.

"The race to net zero could revolutionise UK manufacturing - tens of thousands of new, green jobs in wind, solar, nuclear, and more.

"Instead, this Government seems determined to let them all disappear overseas."

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