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10 September 2019

Strong employment figures do not mean all is well

Responding to the jobs figures released today which show that private sector jobs are at an all-time high, while the unemployment rate is at its lowest on record, FSB NI Policy Chair, Tina McKenzie has said that there are other warning signs in the economy which shouldn’t be ignored.

Commenting, Tina McKenzie said:

“While the positive employment figures should be welcomed, demonstrating the adaptability of Northern Ireland SMEs who continue to create jobs in a difficult climate, there are other warning signs that all is not well in the local economy.

“Data released over the past week has shown that business start-ups in Northern Ireland have decreased by 15 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, other research has shown output is down across all sectors of the economy, with manufacturing and construction particularly hit.

“In this context, FSB has called on the Chancellor to bring forward an emergency budget to help stimulate the economy, by using measures such as cutting VAT and Employers National Insurance contributions.

“However, the best way politicians can rebuild confidence among local businesses is to find agreement which avoids a no-deal Brexit and restore devolved government so decisions can be made and key projects advanced.”