Labour Market Report April 2022

Date published: 12 April 2022

The latest labour market statistics were published today (12th April 2022) by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Payrolled employees now higher than pre-COVID for the tenth consecutive month

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in March 2022 was 775,000, an increase of 0.1% over the month and 4.8% over the year.  This is the highest on record and the tenth consecutive month that employee numbers have been above pre-COVID levels. 
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,928 in March 2022, an increase of £14 (0.7%) over the month and £125 (6.9%) over the year. 

Lowest NI Claimant Count (Experimental Series) total since March 2020

  • In March 2022, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 37,900 (4.0% of the workforce), which is a decrease of 1,000 (2.6%) from the previous month’s revised figure.  The March claimant count is 41% less than the recent peak in May 2020, and 27% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.

Trend of low numbers of confirmed redundancies continues

  • The number of redundancies proposed in March was low, and in line with the statistical disclosure control policy cannot be disclosed (preventing potential identification of individual businesses).
  • NISRA received confirmation that 30 redundancies occurred in March 2022.  At 1,850, the annual total was 68% less than in the previous year.  Over the year April 2021 to March 2022, 2,130 redundancies were proposed, 79% less than in the previous 12 months.

Labour Force Survey headline measures

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people age 16 and over who were unemployed) for the period December-February 2022 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.5%.  The unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and by 1.0pps over the year.  Both the quarterly and annual changes were statistically significant and are likely to reflect real change.
  • The employment rate (proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work) increased by 1.1pps over the quarter and by 1.3pps over the year to 71.2%.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.
  • The total number of weekly hours worked in NI was estimated at 27.2million, a decrease of 3.8% on the previous quarter and an increase of 7.0% over the year.
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) decreased over the quarter by 0.7pps and over the year by 0.5pps to 27.0%.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - April 2022 page.

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