Within the context of an emergent North-South Divide in the economic prosperity of the United Kingdom since the early 1980s, Northern Ireland provides an extreme example of its widening nature in a period of national economic boom. Any comparison of Northern Ireland with the other UK regions serves only to highlight the continuing problems of the region. The sad truth is, despite this remarkable period of growth in the national economy since 1983, employment in the Northern Ireland economy has grown more slowly than in all the other regions while its labour force has grown much faster.