BY ANTHONY QUINN
MAGHERAFELT is emerging unscathed from the weakening economic climate that has seen the rate of job losses soar by more than 50 percent across Northern Ireland.
According to Northern Ireland’s latest labour market report, there were no officially recorded job losses in the local district in the past year, the best record for any district in the region, and a massive drop compared to the previous year when there were 36 redundancies.
The number of lay-offs in the local district has been steadily falling from a peak of 67 in 2007.
On a less positive note, the neighbouring district of Cookstown appears to be suffering the full effects of the double-dip recession with 73 lay-offs recorded so far in 2012, a 62 percent increase on the previous year.
A total of 197 people in the Magherafelt District have lost their jobs since the start of the economic downturn in 2007.
Across Northern Ireland, there were 2,570 confirmed redundancies over the year to 31st October 2012, an increase of 48% compared to the same period in the previous year (1,733).
Of these, 375 confirmed redundancies took place during the calendar month of October 2012 and 142 in the previous month of September 2012. This compares to 94 in October 2011 (one year ago).
Construction is one of the sectors feeling the most pain from the downturn.
In the second quarter of this year, Northern Ireland’s construction sector posted its sharpest quarterly decline of over 8% since the start of the recession. That means construction output is now 40% below its pre-recession peak, two-and-a-half times that of the equivalent decline for the UK as a whole.
Monthly research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland has been showing falling activity, with many builders having to look outside the province for work.
The latest RICS construction market survey showed that activity fell once again during July, August and September. But the slide was the least severe since the first quarter of 2008.