Labour Market Report July 2020

Date published: 16 July 2020

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates released at 7.00am today indicated that the unemployment rate (2.4%) and employment rate (71.6%) for March-May 2020 decreased over the quarter. The inactivity rate (26.6%) increased over the quarter.

Key Points

  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased by 1,200 over the month to 63,100 in June 2020. This was more than double the number recorded in March. The experimental Claimant Count includes Jobseeker’s Allowance Claimants and those claimants of Universal Credit who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed.
  • There were 2,473 proposed redundancies in June 2020 and 745 proposed between 1st and 15th July. The number of proposed redundancies in June was the highest since comparable records began and accounted for over a third of proposed redundancies in the year to end of June.
  • The department was notified of 40 confirmed redundancies in June 2020, taking the number of confirmed redundancies to 2,602 in 12 months to end of June; compared to 1,813 the previous year.
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,688 in the three months to May 2020, a decrease of 0.5% on the previous three months and an increase of 1.2% from the same time last year. Although relatively small at 0.5%, this is the first quarterly decrease since 2015.
  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates relate to March-May 2020. The estimates indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment and employment rates decreased and the economic inactivity rate increased.
  • The NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased over the quarter (0.1pps) and over the year (0.7pps) to one of the lowest rates on record (2.4%) in March-May 2020. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the unemployment rate was significantly below rates in late 2018. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (3.9%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.6%) and the EU (27) rate (6.6%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.9pps) and over the year (0.1pps) to 71.6%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in late 2017. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 76.4%.
  • 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) increased over the quarter (1.0pps) and over the year (0.7pps) to 26.6%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in 2010. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.4%).
  • The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - July 2020 page

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