January 22nd: Responding to the latest Northern Ireland unemployment figures, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly today (Wednesday 22 January) pointed out that the NI jobless rate is still above the UK average, and he said that increased output was not being reflected in increased job creation. Mr Kelly also warned that the apparent increase in employment may be offset by the reduction in the numbers active in the labour market.
“Northern Ireland is still in the midst of a jobs crisis and unemployment remains above the UK average.
“While the increased service and production output figures are welcome, this increase is not being reflected in job creation.
“Unite is also concerned that any small increase in employment is being offset by a simultaneous reduction in the number of those who are economically active. The official unemployment figures therefore do not necessarily reflect the number of people who want to work.
“Today’s figures offer little comfort to the unemployed. What is needed is a sustained strategy designed to grow investment, grow enterprise, and grow wages and living standards”, Mr Kelly concluded.