Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Derry at top of dole league

Londonderry's unemployment misery has deepened after 15 more job losses were announced at JJB Sports.

The bad news came after it was revealed in the Assembly that one in every 10 young people claiming the dole in Northern Ireland are in Derry. The Foyle area tops the Northern Ireland list with 2,145 aged 16-25 on the dole queue.

The shutters were pulled down on all Northern Ireland JJB stores on Monday, except two Co Antrim outlets and the Strand Road branch in Londonderry, which employs 28 people.

The appointment of administrators KPMG means that 2,200 staff at JJB Sports across the UK have been made redundant, including the 15 from the Richmond Centre store.

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said that the news will come as a great blow to JJB staff and their families.

“It is important that all relevant agencies become involved in order to ensure workers are made aware of all their rights and entitlements at what will be a time of great anxiety and uncertainty,” he said.

Last week commercial property firm Lisney reported that almost one in five shops in Derry now lies vacant. The city has an overall vacancy rate of 18.7%, well above the UK average of 11.4%.

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