The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 3.3% (February-April 2018), up 0.2 percentage points over the quarter. The inactivity rate was unchanged over the quarter at 27.9% while the employment rate decreased to 69.7%.
- The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period February-April 2018 indicate that, over the quarter, the employment rate decreased, the unemployment rate increased and the economic inactivity rate was unchanged. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count (experimental) decreased in May 2018.
- The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.2pps) and increased over the year (0.9 pps) to 69.7%. Although the quarterly and annual change is not statistically significant, the most recent employment rate is statistically significantly above employment rates estimated in 2013. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK (75.6%) is the joint highest on record.
- The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter (0.2pps) but decreased over the year to 3.3% in February-April 2018. The decrease over the year of 2.1 percentage points is 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 0.4 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 (6.1%) rate (March 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) was unchanged over the quarter at 27.9%, but increased by 0.7 pps over the year. Although the annual change was not statistically significant, the February-April rate is statistically significantly lower than it was in 2009 when rates reached above 31%.
- The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased by 100 over the month to 28,900 in May 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.
- Businesses reported an increase in employee jobs over the quarter and year, to a series high of 763,440 jobs in March 2018. Increases were seen across all broad industry sectors over the quarter and year, with the services sector accounting for the majority of the quarterly and annual growth.
- Full report available here
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