The Economic Inactivity in Northern Ireland topic paper released at 9.30am today indicates that there were 318,000 economically inactive people of working age in Northern Ireland in 2018, which accounted for over a quarter of the working age population.
- In 2018, there were 318,000 economically inactive people of working age in NI, accounting for over a quarter of the working age population (27.2%).
- Students and retirees account for almost two-fifths (38.8%) of all economically inactive persons. Excluding these students and retirees brings down the number of economically inactive people to 195,000 in 2018.
- There has consistently been a higher number of inactive females than males, with approximately three-fifths of those inactive identifying as female.
- Those aged 50-64 made up the largest proportion of those inactive, while the 25-34 age range had the smallest proportion.
- NI has had the highest rate of economic inactivity in the UK for the past 30+ years. NI’s economic inactivity rate is 27.2%, while the economic inactivity rate for the UK as a whole is 21.7%.
- Long term sickness and disability were the most common reasons for economic inactivity in the UK and NI. At 31.3% for 2018, the proportion citing this as the main reason for inactivity in NI was 6 percentage points higher than the UK as a whole (25.4%).
- The number of individuals citing sickness and disability as their reasons for inactivity has been the most frequently given reason over the past decade (it held this position in 8 out of the past 10 years) and over the past 30 years.
- The higher incidence of economic inactivity in NI is not limited to those citing long term sickness and disability as their main reason for not working or looking for work. The proportion of working age population who are inactive due to looking after family/home, due to study and due to retirement are also higher in NI than the UK as a whole.
- Full report available here