Labour Market Report December 2023

Date published: 12 December 2023

The latest labour market statistics were published today (12th December 2023) by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Payrolled employees and earnings both decreased over the month

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in November 2023 was 796,400, a 0.1% decrease over the month and a 1.7% increase over the year. 
  • Earnings data from HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £2,064 in November 2023, a decrease of £38 (1.8%) over the month and an increase of £46 (2.3%) over the year.  In comparison, earnings in the UK increased by £27 (1.2%) over the month and £117 (5.3%) over the year. NI earnings are now 11% below UK earnings, the largest difference on record.

Claimant Count Rate remains relatively stable since April 2022

  • In November 2023, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 36,600 (3.8% of the workforce), a decrease of 0.3% from the previous month’s revised figure.  The November 2023 claimant count remains 22.5% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.

Proposed and Confirmed redundancies approximately three times the totals for previous year

  • NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 410 redundancies occurred in November 2023.  Over the year December 2022 to November 2023, 2,590 redundancies were confirmed, over three times more than the previous year (850). 
  • There were 390 proposed redundancies in November 2023, taking the annual total to 4,200, approximately three times the figure for the previous 12 months (1,490).

Labour Force Survey employment and unemployment rates show statistically significant changes over the quarter

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people age 16 and over who were unemployed) for the period August-October 2023 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.1%.  This was a decrease of 0.6 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and 0.6pps from the same period last year.  The quarterly change was statistically significant.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased by 1.7pps over the quarter and by 1.5pps over the year to 72.8%.  The quarterly change was statistically significant.
  • The total number of weekly hours worked in NI (28.7 million) increased by 3.5% over the quarter and by 3.7% 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 by 1.1pps over the quarter and by 0.9pps over the year to 25.8%.

Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) headline measures

  • Businesses reported that employee jobs increased over the quarter (0.9%) and over the year (2.4%) to 822,870 jobs in September 2023.  The annual change was statistically significant.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - December 2023 page.

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