East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle stated: “These figures are deeply troubling and perplexing. I am extremely concerned because we are the region with the highest growth in unemployment out of all of the UK. There is now a real divergence between us and the rest of the UK. That suggests there’s something that people are not doing right here to get our economy back on track, because if other regions can lower this figure, why can we not?
“People need our support to help them back to work and it’s up to politicians here to show leadership and ensure that enough jobs exist and are being created to address this issue.
“It’s imperative that we see this introduction of a Green New Deal here to realise the potential we have in the green economy and renewables. This type of initiative would create many jobs in engineering, research and development and in construction, with a large scheme of home, business and public sector building insulation being created.”