Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has launched the latest edition of the ‘DETI Economic Commentary’, which assesses key economic trends in Northern Ireland.
The Minister commented: “These are challenging times for many economies around the world, with heightened economic uncertainty and reduced growth as a result of commodity price shocks and ongoing troubles in the Eurozone. The local economy is not immune from the effects of the global events and economic conditions.
“In response to the downturn, Invest Northern Ireland has recently launched its Boosting Business initiative. This package of new and revamped measures is aimed at boosting support to existing clients, and the broader business base, in these challenging times.”
This edition of the commentary highlights the key sectors in the Northern Ireland economy, and outlines their contribution to output, jobs and exports. The commentary also examines the key concerns of long term unemployment and unemployment amongst our young people, which have heightened as a result of the economic downturn.
Arlene Foster said: “Unemployment is a loss, not just of personal potential for the individual, but to the economy also.
“Research shows that the longer someone is unemployed, the more difficult it is for them to then find employment. Therefore it is essential that all we do as much as possible to provide employment opportunities, particularly for the long term unemployed and our talented young people.”
The Minister continued: “As part of the Boosting Business initiative, the Jobs Fund has a budget of £19million to help businesses create job opportunities. This is already bearing fruit with a number of early jobs announcements that will provide welcome opportunities for employment.
“The new Economic Strategy for Northern Ireland will also be launched soon for consultation, and it will focus on ways to rebuild the local economy in the short term and take the necessary steps to rebalance the economy towards the private sector over the longer term.”
Arlene Foster concluded: “Along with my Executive colleagues, I will continue to do all I can to aid our local businesses through the currently difficult economic conditions, while setting the economy on the right track for the longer term.”