Latest statistics from NISRA have shown a 17 year high in the number of confirmed redundancies in Northern Ireland.

Up until the end of January, 2021 there were 5,150 redundancies in Northern Ireland, the highest since 2004. 

There were also 10,640 collective redundancies proposed in the 12 months to the end of January, more than double the number recorded in the previous 12 months.

In January 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 56,700 (6.1 per cent of the workforce), which is a decrease of 1.7 per cent from the previous month’s revised figure and 12 per cent below the recent peak in May. The claimant count is currently at levels previously seen in 2014.

While the number of people receiving unemployment related benefits in January 2021 remains almost double the count in March 2020, the total has been decreasing each month since May and is now 7,600 below the peak May count.

The pace of collective redundancy proposals has also slowed in the last two months following a record number of redundancies in the six month period between June and November.

Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,789 in December 2020, an increase of 0.7 per cent over the month and 6.9 per cent over the year. The flash estimate for January 2021 shows a decrease of 0.7 per cent from December’s figure.

Northern Ireland had the lowest unemployment rate, the lowest employment rate and the highest economic inactivity rate of all the UK regions.

The latest labour market data show that employment levels remain below pre-covid levels, while measures of unemployment remain above pre-covid levels.