Labour Market Report January 2020

Date published: 21 January 2020

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate for September-November 2019 (2.3%) decreased over the quarter by 0.6 percentage points to the joint lowest on record. The inactivity rate (25.7%) decreased over the quarter by 0.7 percentage points and the employment rate (72.6%) increased over the quarter by 1.1 percentage points to the highest on record.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period September-November 2019 indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment and economic inactivity rates decreased while the employment rate increased.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased over the quarter (0.6pps) and over the year (1.2pps) to the joint lowest rate on record (2.3%) in September-November 2019. The quarterly and annual changes were statistically significant and likely to reflect real change. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (3.8%), the Republic of Ireland rate (4.8%) and the EU rate (6.3%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter (1.1pps) and the year (2.7pps) to the highest rate on record (72.6%). The annual change was statistically significant and likely to reflect real change. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 76.3%.
  • 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 0.7pps over the quarter and by 1.9pps over the year to one of the lowest rates on record (25.7%). Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in early 2018. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.6%).
  • There were 50 proposed redundancies and 143 confirmed redundancies notified to the Department in December 2019. The number of confirmed redundancies (3,192) in the most recent 12 months was higher than the previous 12 months (2,498). 
  • The full report is available on the Labour Market Report - January 2020 page


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