Decline causes GDP growth to take a tumble
According to research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), job numbers in Northern Ireland were down by over 50% compared to March. This drop reflected a marked fall in GDP growth.
The data provided by Broadbean Technology showed that vacancy numbers decreased across all major industry sectors. The top five sectors, however, continued to generate the largest number of jobs in June, meaning that the ratios remained relatively stable month-on-month.
Across the different sectors, IT accounted for 20% of vacancies across Northern Ireland, followed by accountancy (14%), engineering (9%), admin & secretarial (8%), and building & construction (7%).
Application per vacancy (APV) rates remained stable in the IT sectors but decreased in manufacturing and production. The APV rate for contact centre & customer service professionals showed the biggest jump, increasing to 61 (compared to 35 in March). Logistics, distribution & supply chain showed the second-highest figure (20), but this was down on the 25 reported for March. Manufacturing & production (13) and admin & secretarial (10) increased to double digits, showing how critical Northern Ireland’s skills shortages have become.
The biggest job creator was County Antrim, with almost 13,000 vacancies in June, accounting for almost 7 in 10 Northern Ireland jobs. In this region, the largest numbers recorded were for IT and accountancy roles, even though the latest numbers for these specialisms were down by 53% and 42% compared to March.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “Having initially experienced an impressive bounce back in 2021, in which output reached a 13-year high, the economy of Northern Ireland has started to cool with output likely to fall in the early part of 2023. In a post-Brexit and Covid-hit economy, the strength of Northern Ireland’s labour market will be paramount to the country’s economic recovery, and with this latest data indicating a fall in jobs, the country’s economic activity could soon feel the impact. If Northern Ireland’s economy hopes to bounce back stronger, greater support from the Government is needed to help make its employment market globally competitive and fit for purpose in the current economic landscape.”