Redundancies on the rise as claimants count in NMD shows slight increase

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

THE number of claimants in the Newry, Mourne and Down District increased by five during the month of March to a new total of 5,605.

The number of male claimants was 3,630 with 1,350 females.

In the past twelve months the number of claimants in the district has risen by 3,140.

The overall claimants count in Northern Ireland in March was 57,590, an increase of 27,390 over the year.

Figures also reveal 10,090 collective redundancies were proposed in the twelve months to the end of March, more than double the number recorded in the previous twelve months (4,800). 170 redundancies were proposed in the three month period January – March 2021.

During March 250 redundancies were confirmed, taking the annual total to 5,780, the highest since 2001.

In March 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 58,100 (5.9% of the workforce), which is a decrease of 100 (0.2%) from the previous month’s revised figure and 8.9% below the recent peak in May. The claimant count remains almost double the number recorded in March 2020 and is similar to levels previously seen in 2014.

Payrolled employees and employee earnings both increased over the month to February

The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in February 2021 was 744,300, an increase of 0.2% over the month and a decrease of 1.2% over the year. The flash estimate for March 2021 shows a marginal decrease of less than 0.1% on February’s figure to 744,100.

Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,780 in February 2021. This was an increase of 0.1% over the month and 4.7% over the year. The flash estimate for March 2021 shows a further increase of 0.7% from February’s figure to £1,792.

The unemployment rate increased over the quarter and over the year

The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16+ who were unemployed) for the period December-February 2021 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 3.7%. The unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and by 1.2pps over the year. The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter and the year by 1.6pps and by 3.5pps respectively to 69.0%. The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.

The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) increased over the quarter by 1.3pps and over the year by 2.7pps to 28.3%. The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.

Put into the context of the UK, NI had the second lowest unemployment rate, the lowest employment rate and the highest economic inactivity rate of all the UK regions.

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