Labour Market Report February 2024

Date published: 13 February 2024

The latest labour market statistics were published today (13th February 2024) by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Payrolled employees increased over the month while monthly earnings decreased

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in January 2024 was 799,600, a 0.1% increase over the month and a 1.9% increase over the year.
  • Earnings data from HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £2,130 in January 2024, a decrease of £9 (0.4%) over the month and an increase of £94 (4.6%) over the year. 
  • When considering the monthly change in earnings by industry to January 2024, decreases were seen in Education (5.3%), Public administration (5.2%), and Health (0.7%). This coincides with strike action across the public sector in January.
  • The estimates from HMRC PAYE for the latest period, are based on early data and, therefore, are more likely to be subject to larger revisions.

Claimant Count Rate remains relatively stable since April 2022

  • In January 2024, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 35,800 (3.7% of the workforce), a decrease of 0.4% from the previous month’s revised figure. The January 2024 claimant count remains 19.8% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.

Proposed and Confirmed redundancies considerably higher than the previous year

  • NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 50 redundancies occurred in January 2024. Over the year February 2023 to January 2024, 2,380 redundancies were confirmed, which was almost two and a half times the figure for the previous year (970). 
  • There were 140 proposed redundancies in January 2024, taking the annual total to 4,000, which was approximately double the previous year (1,960).

Labour Force Survey headline measures

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16 and over who were unemployed) for the period October-December 2023 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.6%. This was an increase of 0.4 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and of 0.1pps from the same period last year. 
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased by 0.6pps over the quarter and by 0.4pps over the year to 71.3%.
  • The total number of weekly hours worked in NI (27.6 million) increased by 0.7% over the quarter and decreased by 0.7% 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 0.4pps over the year to 26.8%.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - February 2024 page.

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