New Government report warns of 'devastating impact' of Covid-19 on NI economy and jobs

1 Jul 2020 Geoff Nuttall    Last updated: 1 Jul 2020

A new report, just released by the NI Department for the Economy, highlights the major impacts the Covid-19 outbreak has had, and is likely to continue to have on the Northern Ireland economy

The report highlights the Department for the Economy's assessment that the NI Economy has been running at 25-30% below normal levels during the lockdown, the worst affected sectors including accommodation & food service activities (with output reducing by almost 92%), other services (down 51.6%), and arts, entertainment & recreation (down 47.0%).

The pandemic has directly affected over one third of the NI workforce, with around 212,000 workers furloughed under the HMRC Job Retention Scheme, almost 70,000 under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, and the Claimant Count increased by over 35,000 people in just two months. The report projects significant permanent job losses, particularly in the retail, accommodation, food, and construction sectors, and indicates that this scenario of job losses, and the upcoming outflow of education leavers, would mean that the Claimant Count could plausibly exceed 100,000 before the end of 2020 or shortly afterwards. Anything above 106,000 has not been witnessed since the 1980s.

"..the Claimant Count could plausibly exceed 100,000 before the end of 2020 or shortly afterwards. Anything above 106,000 has not been witnessed since the 1980s..."

The report concludes that while an economic recovery appears to be underway in Northern Ireland, with many sectors and businesses being reopened, there are still significant risks; including a risk of economic and societal ‘scarring’ if long-term damage is done and recovery to output and jobs is not swift.' 

"there are still significant risks; including a risk of economic and societal ‘scarring’ if long-term damage is done and recovery to output and jobs is not swift."

A summary of the report is available here and the full report can be read here.
 
 

 

 

geoff.nuttall@nicva.org's picture
by Geoff Nuttall

Head of Policy and Public Affairs

[email protected]

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