Northern Ireland Labour Market Survey

Sunday 16 July, 2017 Written by 
Northern Ireland Labour Market Survey

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

There was a decrease in the employment rate (68.7%) over the quarter and 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

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.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Simon Collyer Monday 17 July, 2017 posted by Simon Collyer

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


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