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Working in Belfast

Belfast is a city in which its major industry is concentrated in shipbuilding and tourism that have brought progress and development to the local economy. Are you an expat planning to work in Belfast? Here you can read up on job hunting, taxation, the local economy and more!

Local Economy

Industry in Belfast has always centered around its shipyards. In fact, for many years, Belfast had the largest shipyard in the world. Both trade and shipbuilding at Belfast Harbor has been the beating heart of the city for hundreds of years. Once the biggest linen producer and exporter in the world, Belfast’s exports are now far more diverse. The business and investments connected to the dockyards took a slump though the middle to latter part of the last century, but thanks to the agreements and treaties of the mid-1990s, trade is now booming once again. Shipbuilding in the docks where the Titanic was assembled, as well as new, lucrative engineering contracts, has seen a boom in employment at the proud heart of the city.

In the last two decades, Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole has seen huge economic growth and development. The new trade buildings in the city itself are a sign of the blossoming commercial hub that Belfast has become. With an unemployment rate lower than that of the UK average, Belfast can also boast a huge 16.4% increase in employment within the last decade, a staggering testament to its industrial resurgence. 

Tourism is once again a major part of the economy and jobs market in Belfast. Since the mid-1990s, the aim has been to make Belfast a more tourist friendly city. This has happened with incredible success. It is now estimated that the city draws in excess of eight million tourists per year, with tourist expenditure approaching the half billion pound mark. This tourism boom supports a growing industry of around 20,000 jobs in Belfast.

The job list available to expats planning on working in Belfast is expansive. In view of the information above, and the growth of the city as a whole, people with experience in engineering, commerce and tourism should have an easier time finding employment.

Job Hunting in Belfast

The main newspapers in Belfast are the Belfast Telegraph, The News Letter, and the Irish News, all of which have extensive job sections, as well as useful websites. 

Some other good websites to check for work in Belfast are the following:

Furthermore, some useful government sites for job seeking include the website of the Department for Employment and Learning and the government services website nidirect.

Income Taxation in Belfast

Again, Belfast is subject to UK laws surrounding income taxation. 

As it stands, income is taxed as follows in 2014/2015:

  • 20% of everything between 0 and 31,865 GBP per year, and above your personal allowance
  • 40% of everything between 31,866 and 150,000 GBP
  • 45% of everything over 150,000 GBP

In addition to this, National Insurance may be required. This is slightly more complicated, but generally runs as follows:

  • 12% of everything between approximately 8,000 and 42,000 GBP per year
  • 2% of everything over this

You can find out more about this topic in our article on income taxation in the UK.

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