Labour Market Report March 2024

Date published: 12 March 2024

The latest labour market statistics were published today (12th March 2024) by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Labour Market Statistics

The labour market statistics containing HMRC Real Time Information data for Northern Ireland, Claimant Count, NI redundancy data and results from the Quarterly Employment Survey were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

An issue has been identified in the ONS’s processing of Labour Force Survey (LFS) data for Northern Ireland for the November 2023 to January 2024 period, which was due for publication today, 12 March 2024.  Investigations to rectify the issue are ongoing at ONS and, as such, it will not be possible for NISRA to publish key LFS based labour market indicators for Northern Ireland for the period in question as planned today.

NISRA’s data collection for the November 2023 to January 2024 period is unaffected: the quality and response rates in the data collections are similar to recent periods. ONS have released UK LFS figures but will not release the regional data for Northern Ireland.  Further information is available in this statement from ONS.

NISRA will publish LFS data for Northern Ireland for the period in question as soon as practicable and will announce a revised publication date as soon as investigations at ONS conclude.

NISRA apologises for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Payrolled employees and earnings both increased over the month

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in February 2024 was 801,100, a 0.1% increase over the month and a 1.9% increase over the year.
  • Earnings data from HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £2,144 in February 2024, an increase of £8 (0.4%) over the month and £92 (4.5%) over the year. 
  • The estimates from HMRC PAYE for the latest period are based on early data and, therefore, are more likely to be subject to larger revisions.

Claimant Count Rate remains relatively stable since April 2022

  • In February 2024, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 36,400 (3.8% of the workforce), an increase of 2.1% from the previous month’s revised figure.  The February 2024 claimant count remains 22.0% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.

Proposed and Confirmed redundancies considerably higher than the previous year

  • NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 60 redundancies occurred in February 2024.  Over the year March 2023 to February 2024, 2,430 redundancies were confirmed, which was over two and a half times the figure for the previous year (940). 
  • There were 360 proposed redundancies in February 2024, taking the annual total to 3,920, which was nearly double the previous year (2,180).

Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) headline measures

  • Businesses reported that employee jobs decreased over the quarter (-0.6%) and increased over the year (+0.8%) to 817,780 jobs in December 2023.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - March 2024 page.

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