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Employment Falling In Northern Ireland

Tuesday 15 December, 2020 Written by  ONS (Office of National Statistics)
Employment Falling In Northern Ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND QUARTERLY SURVEY - The September 2020 Quarterly Employment Survey results were published at 7:00 am this morning with the following key points:


  • The number of (seasonally adjusted) employee jobs in September 2020 was estimated at 775,020. This was a decrease of 3,260 jobs (-0.4%) over the quarter and a decrease of 4,080 jobs (-0.5%) over the year.
  • September 2020 marked the third consecutive quarter of decline in employee jobs and the first annual decline since September 2012.
  • Quarterly decreases in employee jobs were seen within the manufacturing, services and other industries sectors to September 2020.
  • Both the manufacturing (-3.3% or -2,930 jobs) and services (-0.4% or -2,760 jobs) sectors experienced decreases in employee jobs over the year. The manufacturing sector has experienced five consecutive quarters of decline since the peak in June 2019 (-3.7% or -3,280 jobs since June 2019).

The annualised growth rate of total employee jobs has fallen every quarter between March 2018 (2.3%) and September 2020 (0.3%).

Unemployment Key Points

  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased over the month to 60,200 in October 2020. This October count is more than double the number recorded in March. The experimental Claimant Count includes Jobseeker’s Allowance Claimants and those claimants of Universal Credit who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed.
  • There were 820 proposed redundancies in October 2020 and 710 proposed between 1st and 6th November. From 1st November 2019 to 31st October 2020, 9,600 redundancies were proposed, the highest annual total since records began. The department was notified of 1,240 confirmed redundancies in October 2020, the highest monthly total this year and the second highest on record. This takes the number of confirmed redundancies to 4,060 in the 12 months to the end of October, with over 3,200 in the last four months; compared to 3,100 the previous year.
  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in September 2020 was 742,400, an increase of 0.1% over the month and a decrease 0.7% over the year. The flash estimate for October shows a decrease of 0.1% on September’s figure to 741,700.
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,764 in September 2020, an increase of 0.7% over the month and 4.9% from the same time last year. The flash estimate for October shows an increase of 0.3% on September’s figure to £1,769.
  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates relate to July-September 2020. The estimates indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment rate increased, and the employment and economic inactivity rates decreased.
  • The NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter (1.0pps) and the year (1.0pps) to 3.6% in July-September 2020. The quarterly and annual changes were statistically significant. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (4.8%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.4%) and the EU (27) rate (7.4%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.5ps) and over the year (1.7pps) to 70.5%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in 2017. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 75.3%.
  • The NI economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) decreased over the quarter (0.3pps) and increased over the year (0.9pps) to 26.8%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in 2017. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.9%).

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