LFS statistics show 5.5% fall in average full-time wages in Northern Ireland over past twelve months
February 15th: Unite the union’s Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, responded to the latest quarterly Labour Force Survey statistics published today [February 15th] by the Office of National Statistics:
“The latest LFS quarterly statistics demonstrate the challenges workers face in Northern Ireland’s economy. While there has been a half percentage point reduction in the numbers unemployed over the past year, the rate is still higher than the UK comparator and is the second highest of any UK region.
“As a region, a far higher proportion of Northern Ireland’s potential labour force is outside the labour market. Only 70% of 16-64 year olds here are employed; the lowest proportion of any UK region and significantly below the UK average of 74.6%.
“Perhaps most significantly, the statistics in relation to average gross weekly earnings of full-time workers have shown a dramatic fall over the past twelve months. Gross earnings have fallen from £505 to £477 a week – or 5.5%. Taken in conjunction with mounting price inflation, the average pay going to Northern Ireland’s workers has experienced a sharp decline.
“There are now more and more just-about-managing working households – and a real growth in genuine working poverty. Evidence shows that members of trade unions have higher wages – workers seeing these statistics need to join a trade union to raise their take home pay”, Mr Kelly finished.