The labour market statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA).
NI unemployment rate remains below UK rate
- The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period June-August 2019 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.9%. The unemployment rate decreased over the quarter by 0.2 percentage points (pps) and decreased by 1.1pps over the year. The annual change in the unemployment rate was statistically significant, i.e. the recorded changes exceeded the variability expected from a sample survey of this size and is likely to reflect real change.
- The NI unemployment rate (2.9%) was below the UK rate (3.9%), the European Union (6.3%) rate for July 2019 and the Republic of Ireland (5.3%) rate for July 2019.
Employment rate decreased while economic inactivity rate increased over the quarter
- The employment rate (71.5%) decreased over the quarter by 0.3pps and increased over the year by 1.7pps. The changes in the employment rate were not statistically significant, i.e. the recorded change did not exceed the variability expected from a sample survey of this size.
- The economic inactivity rate (26.4%) increased over the quarter by 0.4pps and decreased over the year by 0.9pps. The changes in the employment rate were not statistically significant, i.e. the recorded change did not exceed the variability expected from a sample survey of this size.
Number of proposed redundancies highest since 2003
- A total of 1,452 redundancies were proposed in September 2019, higher than the previous monthly total of 331. The number of proposed redundancies is the highest monthly total since 2003.
- The number of confirmed redundancies (1,976) in the most recent 12 months is lower than the number reported in the previous 12 months (2,896). NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 286 redundancies took place in September 2019.
- It should be noted that the confirmed total provides a better indication of real job losses than the proposed total. The confirmed figures provided are likely to be an underestimate of total job losses, as under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Amended 8 October 2006) companies are only legally required to notify the Department of impending redundancies of 20 or more employees. Companies who propose less than 20 redundancies are not included in the statistics.
- The Labour Force Survey shows that the employment rate decreased over the quarter to (71.5%), while the unemployment rate decreased to one of its lowest rates of 2.9% and economic inactivity increased to 26.4%.
- Despite the quarterly decrease, the employment rate at 71.5% is one of the highest on record and significantly above rates in 2017. Similarly the economic inactivity rate remains significantly below rates in mid-2017.
- Although the NI unemployment rate remains below the UK rate and is the second lowest of all the UK regions, NI has the second lowest employment rate and highest inactivity rate in the UK.
Notes to editors:
- The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Force Survey page.
- The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency wishes to thank the participating households for taking part in the Labour Force Survey.
- The Labour Market Report is a monthly overview of key labour market statistics. This month’s report includes figures from the Labour Force Survey and official redundancy data.
- The official measure of unemployment is from 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 unemployment rate is likely to fall within 0.6% of the quoted estimate (i.e. between 2.2% and 3.5%).
- Redundancies are provided by companies under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Amended 8 October 2006) whereby they are legally required to notify the Department of (a) redundancies proposed and (b) redundancies confirmed. ) Companies are legally required to notify the Department of impending redundancies of 20 or more employees. Companies who propose fewer than 20 redundancies are not included in the statistics. As a result, the figures provided are likely to be an underestimate of total job losses, however, it is not possible to quantify the extent of the shortfall.
- The experimental Claimant Count data are no longer included in the Labour Market Report. Experimental Claimant Count data are published on the NISRA website and on the NOMIS website.
- The Labour Market 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.
- The next Labour Market Report will be published on the NISRA website on 12 November 2019.
- For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
- Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to: Responsible statistician: Sarah Fyffe, Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS), firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 028 9052 9449.
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