Labour Market Report August 2018

Date published: 14 August 2018

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 3.8% (April-June 2018); an increase over the quarter. The inactivity rate (27.9%) and employment rate (69.3%) both decreased over the quarter.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period April-June 2018 indicate that, over the quarter, the employment rate and the economic inactivity rate both decreased while the unemployment rate increased. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count (experimental) decreased in July 2018.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.4pps) and increased over the year (0.1 pps) to 69.3%. Although the quarterly and annual changes were not statistically significant, the increase from 2013 is statistically significantly.  The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK (75.6%) is the joint second highest on record.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter but decreased over the year to 3.8% in April-June 2018. The decrease over the year of 1.5 pps was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.
  • The equivalent UK unemployment rate (4.0%) decreased by 0.2 pps over the quarter and decreased over the year by 0.4 pps to its lowest rate on record. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK unemployment rate, and the European Union (7.0%) and Republic of Ireland (5.3%) rates (May 2018).
  • 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 by 0.1 pps over the quarter and increased by 1.0 pps over the year to 27.9%. Although neither the annual nor quarterly changes were statistically significant, the decrease from 2009 is statistically significantly.
  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased by 400 over the month to 28,100 in July 2018. Please note these figures include Jobseeker’s Allowance Claimants and those claimants of Universal Credit who were claiming it principally for the reason of being unemployed.
  • During July 2018, 133 redundancies took place, which was a notable decrease from the 5-year high recorded the previous month (792).
  • Full report available here

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