As Northern Ireland struggles to offer a coherent and unified contribution to the Brexit negotiations in the absence of an Executive, Dave Whelan talks to MEP Jim Nicholson about his role in bringing Northern Ireland’s precarious position to the attention of both Brussels and Westminster. By his own admission, the official triggering of Article 50...
agendaNi summarises some of the key statistics from the 2017 local government district briefing.
While most district councils were similarily ranked relative to the Northern Ireland average in terms of population of 16-64-year-olds, Ards and North Down was the only council area to record a lower proportion of the main age groups. Both Belfast and Derry City and Strabane had higher proportions of the age groups than the Northern Ireland average. Derry and Strabane council recorded the lowest percentage of the 65 plus age group alongside Mid Ulster. Mid Ulster and Newry, Mourne and Down had the highest percentage of the 0-15 age group, which makes up 23 per cent of their overall population.
Derry City and Strabane recorded the highest economic inactivity rate of 33 per cent. Other district council areas to record a higher economic inactivity rate than the Northern Ireland average include Belfast (30 per cent), Causeway Coast and Glens (30 per cent) and Newry, Mourne and Down (30 per cent). Ards and North Down recorded the lowest labour market economic inactivity of all the local government districts with 22 per cent.
Both Derry City and Strabane (5.9 per cent) and Belfast (4.1 per cent) have the highest number of claimants for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), while Mid Ulster and Lisburn and Castlereagh (1.9 per cent) have the lowest. Belfast has the highest number of youth JSA claimants and the largest number of long-term unemployed.
Median weekly wage
Other than Antrim and Newtownabbey (£498.50) and Belfast (£547.00), the rest of Northern Ireland’s local districts all recorded a lower median weekly wage than the Northern Ireland average. Causeway Coast and Glens recorded the lowest median weekly wage of £378.40.
Looking at employment within the various sectors across the districts, the service sector continues to be the dominant sphere of employment and is largest in Belfast (93 per cent) and Ards and North Down (89 per cent) but lowest in Mid Ulster (62 per cent), Mid and East Antrim (72 per cent) and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (77 per cent).
Manufacturing is strongest sector for employment in districts such as Mid Ulster (28 per cent), Mid and East Antrim (21 per cent) and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (17 per cent), especially in comparison to Belfast, where the manufacturing sector makes up only 4 per cent of overall jobs.
Construction makes up just 2 per cent of the jobs within the Belfast district, the lowest of all the districts. Mid Ulster (9 per cent) has the highest overall percentage of jobs, followed by Newry Mourne and Down and Fermanagh and Omagh (both 7 per cent).