Business

Redundancies hit two-and-a-half year high in the north during September

The average monthly wage in Northern Ireland remained unchanged last month at £2,097, the second lowest of any UK region

There was a spike in redundancies last month, new official data shows.
There was a spike in redundancies last month, new official data shows. There was a spike in redundancies last month, new official data shows.

THE north experienced the biggest single month of job losses in two-and-a-half years during September, according to official government data.

There were 420 confirmed redundancies last month, the highest monthly total since February 2021.

The figure, reported by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), is restricted to cases where employers made 20 or more people redundant, as legally required.

It followed a spike in proposed job cuts across May and June this year by major employers.

Call centre firm Firstsource Solutions, Ulster Bank, Norbrook and Seagate announced hundreds of redundancies during May.

Hundreds of jobs are also set to go at Lurgan refrigerated transport company Morgan McLernon.

Read more:

  • Northern Ireland employers proposed 2,000 job cuts during June, official data shows
  • 'Difficult day' for Ulster Bank staff as 813 face redundancy - including 250 in Northern Ireland
  • Hundreds of jobs set to go at call centre firm Firstsource Solutions
  • 'Anger and dismay' at haulage firm's decision to close site and make 500 staff redundant in Lurgan

The Department for the Economy said it was notified of 170 proposed redundancies during September.

In total, 1,640 redundancies have been confirmed by the department in the first three-quarters of 2023.

However, the total number of employees on company payrolls continued to rise in the north last month, according to the latest HM Revenue and Customs PAYE data.

There were 793,669 employees on the PAYE system in September, an increase of 0.3% on August and 1.7% higher than 12 months earlier.

Meanwhile, HMRC’s PAYE records suggest wage growth remained static in the north during September.

The median monthly pay of £2,097 was unchanged from August, but was still 6.7 per cent up on a year-earlier.

That was in line with UK inflation for August, which eased back to 6.7%.

But the HMRC data show the average monthly income in Northern Ireland was one of the lowest of any UK region.

Only Yorkshire and The Humber recorded a lower figure for September (£2,095).

HMRC said the average UK monthly pay for employees on the PAYE system was £2,264.

Separate wage data published for Britain by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday confirmed salary growth in Northern Ireland lagging behind GB.

The ONS said that regular earnings in Britain rose by a near record 7.8% in the three months to August and were 0.7% higher with Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation taken into account.