Northern Ireland employment rate is the highest since the series began in 1995.
The Labour Market Report was published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency. The key findings are that:
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) measure of unemployment in Northern Ireland (NI) decreased over the quarter to February - April 2016. The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in NI decreased in May 2016.
Over the quarter and the year, the employment rate increased and the economic inactivity rate decreased. The employment rate is the highest since the series began in 1995 and the economic inactivity rate is the lowest since the series began.
The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased by 0.2 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and by 0.4 pps over the year, to 5.8%. The UK unemployment rate (5.0%) which fell over the quarter and the year to February - April 2016.
The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits (from NI Jobs and Benefits Offices) decreased by 600 over the month to 37,200 in May. This is the second consecutive decrease after two consecutive months where the claimant count had increased.
The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits has fallen by 27,500 since the most recent peak in February 2013. The number of people leaving the register in the last 12 month period has slowed from 11,600 to May 2015 to 6,600 in the recent year to May 2016.
The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter and over the year to 69.6% which remained lower than the UK employment rate (74.2%).
The NI economic inactivity rate (26.0%) was 0.5 pps lower than in the previous quarter and 1.2 pps lower than in the previous year. Although at an all time low, the NI economic inactivity rate remained noticeably higher than in the UK (21.8%).
Businesses reported (in the Quarterly Employment Survey) that the number of employee jobs increased over the quarter to March 2016 (+3,870) and over the year (+11,930) to 735,010. Jobs growth was driven by the services sector.
Notes to editors:
- 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.
- 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). Although UC has not been introduced in NI, the NI and UK series remain broadly comparable. For more information please refer to the Further Information section of the Labour Market Report (Page 27).
- 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 1.2% of the quoted estimate (i.e. between 4.5% and 7.0%).
- This report will be of interest to Ministers, policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public with an interest in the local economy.
- The detailed statistical bulletin is available at: Labour Force Survey. Further information and tables from each of the data sources are available on the NISRA – Economic and Labour Market Statistics Website.
- For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
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