Labour Market Statistics

Date published: 12 July 2017

The Labour Market Statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Labour Market Statistics Published
Statistical Press Release

Labour Force Survey (LFS) employment rate decreased over the quarter while unemployment and economic inactivity rates remain unchanged.

  • There was a decrease (0.1 pps) in the employment rate (68.7%) over the quarter and (0.2 pps) over the year.  The economic inactivity rate (27.4%) was unchanged over the quarter but increased by 0.7 pps over the year.
  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period March - May 2017 was 5.3%, this was unchanged from the previous quarter and down 0.6 pps over the year (from 5.9%).
  • The latest NI unemployment rate (5.3%) was above the UK average of 4.5% however, it was below the European Union (7.8%) rate and Republic of Ireland (6.4%) rate for April 2017.

NI claimant count continues to fall

  • The more recent seasonally adjusted number of people claiming unemployment related benefits stood at 30,500 (3.3% of the workforce) in June 2017, representing a decrease of 600 from the previous month’s revised figure.

Confirmed redundancies decreased over the year

  • There were 66 confirmed redundancies in June 2017. Over the last year to 30th June 2017 there has been a 30% decrease in the number of confirmed redundancies: from 3,217 in the previous year to 2,267.


  • Considered over a longer time frame the most recent results show a gradual decline in the unemployment rate and a gradual increase in the employment rate from 2013/14. Following a previously noted downward trend from 2013/14, the economic inactivity rate has increased over the last three quarters.
  • The claimant count series, which has fallen by 34,300 since its most recent peak in February 2013, also reflects a decline in unemployment.
  • Please note results from the Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index will be published on Thursday 20th July 2017 on the NISRA website. This will provide an overall measure of Northern Ireland economic output for the first quarter of 2017.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Labour Market Report is a monthly overview of key labour market statistics. It includes figures from the Labour Force Survey, the claimant count (people claiming unemployment related benefits), the Quarterly Employment Survey of employers and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings as well as official redundancy data.

2. The NI claimant count measure of unemployment is based on people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) from Jobs and Benefits Office Administrative Systems. From 17 June 2015, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) replaced the claimant count based on JSA for Great Britain (GB) with an experimental claimant count based on JSA claimants and a measure of out-of-work claimants of Universal Credit (UC). For more information please refer to the Further Information section of the Labour Market Report (Page 28).

3. The official measure of unemployment is the Labour Force Survey. This measure of unemployment relates to people without a job who were available for work and had either looked for work in the last four weeks or were waiting to start a job. This is the International Labour Organisation definition. Labour Force Survey estimates are subject to sampling error. This means that the exact figure is likely to be contained in a range surrounding the estimate quoted. For example, the number of unemployed persons is likely to fall within 1.1% of the quoted estimate (i.e. between 4.2% and 6.4%).

4. Employee jobs figures are taken from the Quarterly Employment Survey a survey of public sector organisations and private sector firms.

5. This report will be of interest to policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public with an interest in the local economy.

6. The detailed statistical bulletin is available at on the NISRA website.

7. Further information and tables from each of the data sources are available on the NISRA website

8. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

9. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:

Responsible statistician:
Andrew Mawhinney,
Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS)

email: or Tel: 028 9052 9668.

10. Follow ELMS on Twitter - @ELMSNISRA

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