Unemployment trebled on 1975

Liam Gallagher. DER2814-131KM
Liam Gallagher. DER2814-131KM

Derry is now officially the joblessness capital of the UK, with three times the amount of unemployment people in the city back in 1975.

The damning Income Date Services Pay Report findings by Thomson-Reuters has sparked calls for a regional redress.

Derry is now the number one unemployment blackspot, with Strabane a close second, Belfast third, and Limavady sixth. By contrast, six years ago nowhere in the north had made the highest three unemployment spots, then occupied by Birmingham, Hull and Liverpool.

The Journal revealed earlier this year that when the new Derry-Strabane supercouncil takes effect from April 2015, one in two people living here will be economically inactive.

Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said the new figures exposed the need for an effective industrial policy.

He said: “Taken in tandem with the findings of recent research on the trend to lower wages and a huge growth in part-time working published by research institute NERI, it is clear that Northern Ireland faces a particularly difficult set of economic challenges.

“Northern Ireland has been very badly hit by the recession and has still to experience a recovery. Without a new policy approach, such as that proposed by Unite, the region is rapidly heading towards becoming a permanently ‘low-wage economy’.”

Derry-based Liam Gallagher from UNITE meanwhile said: “Derry is at an absolute low in terms of employment. In 1975, we had 4,600 people on the live register and the statistics today show that we have treble that amount. I’m amazed there hasn’t been a significant light shone on these figures.

“Unless we can address employment we are heading towards and economic wasteland. Invest NI and the government need to take urgent action to stop the situation getting worse.”