The latest official statistics reflect a continuation of recent trends in terms of steady or falling unemployment and growth in private sector employee jobs.
- The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period February - April 2017 indicate that over the quarter, the employment and the unemployment rates decreased while the economic inactivity rate increased. The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in Northern Ireland (NI) decreased in May 2017.
- The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.5 pps) and over the year (1.0 pps) to 68.8%.
- The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased by 0.3 pps over the quarter to February - April 2017 and by 0.3 pps over the year, to 5.4%. The equivalent UK unemployment rate was down over the quarter and over the year to 4.6%.
- The NI unemployment rate was below the European Union (8.0%) rate and Republic of Ireland (6.4%) rate for March 2017.
- 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) was 27.2%, representing an increase of 0.8 pps over the quarter and 1.4 pps over the year. This is the largest quarterly increase since February – April 2009.
- The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits (from NI Jobs and Benefits Offices) decreased by 300 over the month to 31,200 in May 2017. This is the 14th consecutive monthly decrease.
- Businesses reported that the number of employee jobs decreased over the quarter (-600) and increased over the year (9,850) to March 2017 (745,580). Private sector employee jobs increased over the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 and over the year to an historical high while the public sector decreased over the quarter and over the year.
- Full report available here