Low Derry employment rate of 68% of serious concern particularly for young adults, says SDLP jobs spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin

The decline in the employment rate in Derry to just 68 per cent is a matter of great concerm, SDLP jobs spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin has said.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:44 pm
68% employment rate concerning, says SDLP MLA.

The Foyle MLA said young adults in the city in particular were being severely affected by what she described as a growing unemployment crisis.

According to the latest labour market statistics the employment rate (the percentage of working age adults with jobs) in the north has fallen to 69.3%, the lowest in the UK.

The rate in Derry is just 68.0%. The UK rate is 75.0%.

Mrs. McLaughlin said: “We are in a growing crisis of joblessness. The employment rate across the North of Ireland shows a serious and worsening gap in performance compared to Great Britain, but the situation is particularly bad in Derry.

“This is a problem that is particularly severe and damaging for our young adults. The UK figures show that the burden is falling disproportionately on young adults, with more than 60% of the fall in the number of employed people being in the under 25s. Northern Ireland also has a much higher proportion of young adults not in education, employment or training than in Great Britain."

The SDLP MLA said there is a danger of losing young people to long-term unemployment.

"That is why I spoke in the Assembly this week calling on Sinn Féin’s communities minister to make faster progress in establishing the Job Start scheme to provide work placements for young adults. We must do more and do it quickly, otherwise we will be failing our young adults.”