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Northern Ireland workers nervous about job security after EU vote

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland consumers became more worried about job security following the EU Referendum, according to new research.

Deloitte's consumer tracker said concerns about job security were at their strongest since 2011, when they carried out the survey between June 24 and June 27.

The measure of anxiety about jobs went from -8% in the first quarter of the year to -21% in the second quarter.

Peter Allen, partner at Deloitte in Northern Ireland, said: "Although the initial shock of the vote has receded, the outlook for growth has dimmed and this has been reflected in the concerns for job security in Northern Ireland.

"UK activity is set to soften in the next year and the government faces an unparalleled task in shaping a post-EU settlement.

"The complexity, scale and importance of the negotiations that will take the UK out of the EU mean that uncertainty is here to stay.

"But, by providing a compelling vision of the UK's long term economic future, the government can provide important reassurance to consumers and business," he added.

Despite the concerns over job security, the overall measure of consumer confidence in Northern Ireland was fairly steady at -13% in quarter two, to -11% in quarter one.

But Mr Allen said that maintaining consumer confidence would be crucial to the health of the economy following Brexit.

"Consumer spending is the engine of UK growth, accounting for about two thirds of activity," he added.

"Maintaining consumer confidence, and spending, will be crucial to keeping the economy growing as the process of exiting the EU gets under way."

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