Business Register and Employment Survey 2016 published

Date published: 14 December 2017

The 2016 Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) statistics – the annual survey of businesses requesting information on number of employee jobs and business activity have been released today.

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Labour Market Statistics

In 2016, approximately 12,000 businesses were surveyed.  The relatively large sample size allows employee jobs by geography and industry to be produced. Key facts from the report are listed below.

Employee jobs increased by 1.5% over the year to September 2016

  • BRES 2016 indicated that the total number of employee jobs in Northern Ireland in September 2016 was 739,615. This is an increase in employee jobs of 10,683 (1.5%) from September 2015.
  • The number of employee jobs in the UK increased by 540,000 (1.8%) from 29.5 million to 30.0 million over the same period.

Employee jobs increased in each of the 4 broad industries

  • BRES 2016 saw an increase in employee jobs across all of the 4 broad industries. The Services industry had the largest increase in employee jobs at 8,355 (1.4%) over the year.  The Construction industry experienced the largest increase in relative terms, increasing by 5.2% (1,644 jobs). Increases of fewer than 500 jobs were seen in the Manufacturing and Other industries.
  • The proportion of employee jobs across the 4 broad industries remained unchanged over the period. The Services industry still dominates with 82% of employee jobs in this sector.  Manufacturing jobs account for 11% of the total with 4% of jobs in the Construction industry and the remaining 3% of jobs classified as ‘Other’.

Employee jobs increased in the private sector and decreased in the public sector

  • BRES estimated the number of public sector jobs in 2016 at 199,558 with private sector jobs at 540,056. This represents a public:private sector job ratio of approximately 1:3 and is the first time the public sector total has fallen below 200,000 since 2001.
  • Employee jobs in the public sector decreased (-4,803 or -2.4%) over the year whilst jobs in the private sector increased (15,485 or 3.0%).

Employee job changes at District Council Area (DCA) level were driven by increases in the Services industry

  •  Although employee jobs increased by 1.5% overall the increase was not experienced evenly across all DCAs. Seven district councils saw an increase in employee jobs over the year to September 2016 while four saw a decrease. It should be noted that a proportion of the DCA changes in employee jobs over the year can be attributed to the relocation of jobs within Northern Ireland.
  • The number of jobs in Belfast fell by just under 1% (-1,704 jobs).  Decreases were also reported in Causeway Coast & Glens (-300 or -1%), Mid & East Antrim (-659 or -2%) and Ards & North Down (-284 or -1%). 
  • The number of employee jobs in Antrim & Newtownabbey increased over the year (4,251 or 8%) as did jobs in Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon (2,765 or 4%). The remaining DCAs experienced smaller increases in employee jobs.
  • Despite the changes within District Council Areas the proportion of employee jobs across the 11 District Council Areas remains relatively unchanged between 2015 and 2016. Belfast District Council Area has the highest proportion of employee jobs (218,478 or 30%) followed by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon (72,866 or 10%).  

Notes to editors: 

  1. BRES is an annual survey of businesses requesting information on number of employee jobs and business activity. In 2016, approximately 12,000 businesses were surveyed. The relatively large sample size allows employee jobs by geography and industry to be produced.
  2. Sub-Northern Ireland analysis from the BRES is primarily based on the location of the jobs, not on the home address of the employees.  However, in a small number of instances where employers were not able to provided figures by actual location, the employees were allocated to the address where pay records were held.  The re-location or change of reporting procedures by large employers can therefore affect the BRES sub-NI analysis when making annual comparisons.
  3. BRES counts the number of jobs rather than the number of persons with a job. As a result, a person holding both a full-time job and a part-time job, or someone with two part-time jobs, will be counted twice.
  4. Full report is available on the NISRA website
  5. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623974383 and your call will be returned.
  6. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to: Responsible statistician: Arlene Connolly, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), arlene.connolly@nisra.gov.uk or Tel: 028 90529606.
  7. Follow ELMS on Twitter - @ELMSNISRA

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