Have we really reached full employment in Northern Ireland?

Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey has suggested that Northern Ireland is now “effectively at full employment” as the latest official figures showed the unemployment rate was 3.5% in the three months between December and February 2018. This is quite a drop from the over 20% we had in the 1980s. Northern Ireland has traditionally been associated with high unemployment so this is quite a turnaround. Now as always there are some caveats, the BBC reports: The inactivity rate in Northern Ireland stands … Read more

Brexit: So what will happen to the economy when the foreign workers go home?

Over on Channel 4 there is a new darkly funny fly on the wall documentary series “British Workers Wanted“. It shows a recruitment company in England coping with life during Brexit. 98% of the company’s recruitment staff are foreign, but what do you do when after Brexit the foreign workers start to leave? The show follows the company’s efforts to recruit British workers to do the jobs that the foreign workers used to do, but with predictably dire results. This 1-minute … Read more

“They’d have known from then that I couldn’t be counted on to fall into line.”

An organisation which plays a key role in distributing public money to community organisations in Derry has been found guilty of discriminating against a local man because of his opposition to what he characterised as a “Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up” of community organisation in the city. The Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership (WNP) has been ordered by a Fair Employment Tribunal to pay Gary McClean £10,000 compensation for denying him a job as a Community Development Officer (CDO) in the Curryneirin area despite … Read more

Brexit bites as EU workers start to say screw you UK we are outa here…

time to move on

If there is one advantage to having kids it is that it does increase your circle of friends. Humans need social contact, especially when going through the misery joy of having your first child. We compare notes with other parents, we sympathise when they tell you their baby is not sleeping even though inside we are delighted that at least our kid is not as bad as there’s. We force a smile when another parent tells us how their little … Read more

British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly: Recommendations on GFA…

This session is in Dublin at the Royal Hospital. Panel Discussion currently underway is on the theme ‘Future of Work’… Senior Vice President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce – Gerry Kindlon Science Foundation of Ireland – Ann Riordan, Chairperson IDA – Frank Ryan, Chair Of particular interest to Slugger readers is the Assembly’s recommendations on the Belfast Agreement: a formal public reporting mechanism on the implementation of the Agreements be put in place every effort be made to bring the … Read more

Surviving the job hunt part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how to survive the job hunt. Luckily for me things in that area have turned around and I am now faced with an exciting new challenge that I cannot wait to get stuck into. I am writing this piece as I think it’s always good to illustrate when looking for jobs that in the employment market a month is literally an eternity. I was thinking today about a friend of mine … Read more

Emphasis on youth skills rather than qualifications the way out of recession?

In the Republic the live register of unemployed hit the highest levels since the late 1990s. One aspect of it is the limited capacity for retraining, or training on the job. Eamon McDwyer, a local Cavan businessman told Slugger on the #RTERoadtrip that rigid enforcement of limits on jobseekers allowance an opportunity was being missed. Listen! In England, Professor Alison Wolf has been warning for some years of “a complete disintegration of the youth labour market”, as “successive governments obsessed … Read more

In terms of post-recession employment, the young and the vulnerable are suffering the most – but what will we do about it?

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland logo

In many ways the Equality Commission’s 115 report confirmed my shallow understanding of the recession. People who’ve never worked – eg, the young – are struggling to get jobs. People who have lost jobs are struggling to regain employment. Vulnerable groups are finding it tough. And blue collar has so far been worse than white collar.