35,000 more jobs needed to hit pre-2008 levels: study
Northern Ireland needs to create another 35,000 jobs if employment levels are to return to where they stood before the recession, according to an independent think tank.
The London-based Resolution Foundation, which aims to improve living standards for people on low to middle incomes, said the region has been harder hit than England and Wales when it comes to jobs, with the employment rate falling 2.4%.
It found 56% of over 16s in Northern Ireland are employed compared to 58.5% in early 2008.
The most recent figures show that 56% of everyone over 16 in Northern Ireland is employed compared to 58.5% in early 2008.
Alex Hurrell, senior analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said there is some way to go before the region recovers fully.
"Unfortunately, these figures show that there is a long way to go before the hole knocked in employment during the recession is repaired," he said.
"Economic confidence seems to be on the rise in the UK and this is partly down to a welcome increase in the overall numbers of people in work. However, this hasn't matched the rate of the increase in the adult population and the result has been that employment, measured as a proportion of people aged 16 and over, has fallen everywhere – a less positive view of labour market conditions."
But Northern Ireland isn't alone with every other region apart from London left with a significant gap between current employment and that before the downturn hit.
In total, the jobs gap reaches 963,000 across the UK as a whole.
The percentage of people aged over 16 employed here