Labour Market Report July 2018

Date published: 17 July 2018

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 3.5% (March-May 2018); unchanged over the quarter. The inactivity rate decreased over the quarter to 27.5% while the employment rate increased to 69.8%.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period March-May 2018 indicate that, over the quarter, the employment rate increased, the economic inactivity rate decreased and the unemployment rate was unchanged. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count (experimental) decreased in June 2018.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter (0.3pps) and increased over the year (1.1 pps) to 69.8%. Although the quarterly and annual changes were not statistically significant, the most recent employment rate was statistically significantly above employment rates in 2013.  The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK (75.7%) is the highest on record.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) was unchanged over the quarter but decreased over the year to 3.5% in March-May 2018. The decrease over the year of 1.8 pps was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.
  • The equivalent UK unemployment rate (4.2%) decreased by 0.1 pps over the quarter and decreased over the year by 0.3 pps to its joint lowest rate on record. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK unemployment rate, and also below the European Union (7.1%) rate and Republic of Ireland (5.9%) rate (April 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 over the quarter to 27.5% and increased by 0.2 pps over the year. Although neither the annual nor quarterly changes were statistically significant, the March-May rate was statistically significantly lower than in 2009.
  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased by 200 over the month to 28,600 in June 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 June 792 redundancies took place. This is the largest number of confirmed redundancies since November 2012.
  • Full report available here

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