Labour market statistics

Date published: 17 October 2023

The labour market statistics containing HMRC Real Time Information data for Northern Ireland and the NI redundancy data were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Labour Market Statistics
Labour Market Statistics

Users will be aware that NISRA releases Northern Ireland’s key labour market indicators on the same day and at the same time as those released by the other National Statistics Institutes for their respective territories of the UK. Importantly, this long-standing arrangement enables the Northern Ireland position to be considered in the wider context of that across the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has taken the decision to delay its next publication of the UK and Regional Labour Market estimates based on the UK Labour Force Survey (previously due on Tuesday 17 October). This also includes details from the Claimant Count data. These data will now be published on Tuesday 24 October. The ONS have explained the reason for their delay in this Statement, which they released Friday 13 October.

In line with our long-standing arrangements and in order to ensure that NI estimates can continue be viewed in the wider UK context, NISRA has decided to delay the release of the Northern Ireland results from the Labour Force Survey and claimant count information until 24 October – in line with arrangements instigated by the ONS.

Users viewing the ONS statement can be assured that response rates to the Labour Force Survey in Northern Ireland continue to be robust, for which we are grateful to the general public of Northern Ireland. We will continue to work with ONS on this matter.

NISRA apologises for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Key points

Payrolled employees increase over the month, while monthly earnings remain unchanged

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in September 2023 was 793,700, a 0.3% increase over the month and a 1.7% increase over the year.
  • When considering employees by age, the 25-34 age group is the only group yet to return to pre-COVID levels, remaining 0.3% below March 2020 numbers.
  • Earnings data from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £2,097 in September 2023, unchanged over the month and an increase of £132 (6.7%) over the year. 

Proposed redundancies over three times the total for previous year


  • The latest Labour Market release shows that over the year both payrolled employee numbers and earnings have increased. Annual totals for proposed and confirmed redundancies have also increased when compared to the previous year, with the proposed redundancies total similar to pre-pandemic levels. The confirmed redundancies total remains below the long-term trend.
  • The latest HMRC payroll data shows that payrolled employee numbers increased by 0.3% over the month and increased by 1.7% over the year. Payrolled earnings were unchanged over the month and were 6.7% higher than September 2022.
  • In addition, the Department was notified of 420 confirmed redundancies in September 2023, which brought the rolling twelve-month total of confirmed redundancies to 1,810. This is the seventh consecutive month that this total has been over 1,000, and equals the highest total recorded since March 2022, although this figure is still well below the long-term trend. There were also 170 proposed redundancies notified to the Department in September 2023, bringing the annual total covering October 2022 to September 2023 to 4,390. This is the second-highest rolling twelve-month total since August 2021 and is similar to pre-pandemic levels.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The statistical report and associated tables are available at:Labour Market report - October 2023
  2. 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 impending redundancies of 20 or more employees.  Companies who propose fewer than 20 redundancies are not required to notify the Department, therefore 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. All other things being equal we would expect more redundancies in sectors dominated by large businesses as they are the businesses that meet the 20 or more collective redundancy criteria.
  3. To prevent the potential identification of individual businesses, redundancy totals relating to fewer than three businesses are not disclosed.  The Statistical Disclosure Control Policy is available at: Redundancies background information. Where the number of businesses does not meet the threshold for release (as detailed in the Statistical Disclosure Control Policy), individual monthly totals are not published.
  4. HMRC’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) system is an administrative data source. The PAYE RTI system is the system employers use to take Income Tax and National Insurance contributions before they pay wages to employees. These data relate to employees paid by employers only, and do not include self-employment income.
  5. Estimates of the number of paid employees and employee earnings from PAYE are classed as experimental statistics as they are still in their development phase. As a result, the data are subject to revisions.  Early estimates (flash estimates) for September 2023 are based on around 85% of information and will be subject to revision in the next month’s release when between 98% and 99% of data will be available (main estimates). The size of revisions to main and flash estimates are similar for employees, while revisions to earnings flash estimates are typically larger than main estimate revisions. The HMRC PAYE covers the whole population rather than a sample of employees or companies. Data are based on where employees live and not the location of their place of work within the UK. Data are seasonally adjusted but not adjusted for inflation.  
  6. 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.
  7. The Labour Market Report will be updated to include Labour Force Survey results and claimant count information on Tuesday 24 October 2023.
  8. The Labour Market Report thereafter will be published on the NISRA website on Tuesday 14 November 2023.
  9. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at
  10. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  11. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

12. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:

Responsible statistician:

Mark McFetridge,

Economic & Labour Market Statistics (ELMS), or Tel: 028 902 55172

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