Economy Minister welcomes latest labour market figures

Date published: 14 December 2016

Figures released today for the period August - October 2016 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 5.7% - a decrease of 0.5 percentage points over the year.

Economy Minister welcomes latest labour market figures
Economy Minister welcomes latest labour market figures

More recent figures for November 2016 show that the number of claimants in receipt of unemployment related benefits stood at 33,600, a decrease of 500 over the month. There has been a fall of 5,600 in the unemployment claimant figures over the last 12 months.

The employment rate (69.5%) was up over both the quarter and the year to August - October 2016 with the economic inactivity rate decreasing over the quarter and over the year to stand at 26.2%.

Businesses reported (in the Quarterly Employment Survey) that the number of employee jobs remained broadly similar over the quarter to September 2016 whilst having increased over the year (0.1% or 500 jobs) to 732,360.

Commenting on the figures, Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA  said: “The figures published today contain some positive messages across a range of key labour market indicators.  In particular, following reductions in unemployment over the medium term, I welcome that employee jobs are now broadly back to their previous peak in 2008 alongside the continued reduction in the economic inactivity rates.

“The Northern Ireland unemployment rate (5.7%) continues to compare very favourably to the September 2016 rate for the European Union (8.5%) and for the Republic of Ireland (7.9%).”

The Minister said: “It is important that local businesses continue to develop opportunities through research and development, seeking new markets and promoting inward investment. I would encourage businesses to actively seek out these opportunities and to take advantage of Invest NI’s continued support for local businesses and the local economy.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Further information on the latest labour market figures is available in the Labour Market Statistics Economic Overview  and from the Northern Ireland Executive website
  2. 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.
  3. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI

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