Queen's Policy Engagement

Policy Interventions Needed to Reduce Economic Inactivity in Northern Ireland

By Dr Ka Ka Katie Tsang, Research Fellow with the International Public Policy Observatory.

Policy Interventions Needed to Reduce Economic Inactivity in Northern Ireland

An unprecedented number of older people have left the UK workforce since the beginning of the pandemic. Evidence from the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests increased rates of inactivity can be linked to poor health, and pandemic-related job redundancies and dismissals.


Older People and pandemic losses 

In the face of a public health emergency, lockdown restrictions induced a series of knock-on effects for economic activity and the Northern Ireland (NI) labour market. The Economic Policy Centre at Ulster University, Belfast say these ‘shocks’ to the NI economy have resulted in province wide changes to working practices, furlough and redundancy policies and a surge in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits. Since then, unemployment figures and economic inactivity have continued to increase significantly.

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Article originally appeared on the International Public Policy Observatory website.


The featured image has been used courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

Dr Ka Ka Tsang
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Dr Ka Ka Tsang is a Research Fellow in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's University Belfast. Her current research focus relates to the policy priorities for the International Public Policy Observatory and focus on the cross-cutting challenges of pandemic recovery, net zero, place and spatial inequality as well as socio-economic inequality.

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