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Coronavirus: Unemployment in NI rose by almost 90% in April


May. 19, 2020

Unemployment in Northern Ireland rose by almost 90% in April, official figures suggest.
The figures from the NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) are the first official indicator of the impact of coronavirus on the NI economy.
They show that 'claimant count' unemployment increased from 29,700 to 56,200.
That is the highest monthly increase since records began and brings the claimant count back to 2014 levels.
Claimant count includes Jobseeker's Allowance Claimants and those claimants of Universal Credit who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed.
The other, preferred, method of measuring unemployment is the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
However, the current survey results only cover the period from January to March so do not capture the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
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Nisra also record the number of proposed redundancies.
In April there were 783 proposed redundancies, the fifth largest monthly figure in the last five years.
Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme, the director of Ulster University's Economic Policy Centre said it "is not wholly surprising".
Image caption Gareth Hetherington is director of Ulster University's Economic Policy Centre
Gareth Hetherington said: "There are two factors which characterise this crisis: one is the scale of the impact, the second is its immediacy.
"What happened in the financial crisis took a long time to play out compared to what we've seen in this Covid-19 crisis."
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