Labour Market Report May 2019

Date published: 14 May 2019

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate for January-March 2019 (2.9%) decreased over the quarter by 0.9 percentage points to a record low. The inactivity rate (26.5%) decreased over the quarter by 0.2 percentage points and the employment rate (71.3%) increased over the quarter by 1.0 percentage points to a record high.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period January-March 2019 indicate that over the quarter, the unemployment rate and inactivity rate both decreased while the employment rate increased.
  • The unemployment rate for this latest period is the lowest on record and the employment rate is the highest on record.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased over the quarter (0.9pps) and the year (0.2pps) to 2.9% in January-March 2019. The quarterly change was statistically significant, and is likely to reflect real change. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (3.8%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.6%) and the EU rate (6.5%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter (1.0pps) and increased over the year (1.5pps) to a record high of 71.3%. Although the recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in mid-2017. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 76.1%.
  • 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 by 0.2pps over the quarter and 1.4pps over the year to 26.5%. Although the recent changes were not statistically significant, the inactivity rate was significantly below rates in mid-2017. The latest inactivity rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 20.8%.
  • The number of confirmed redundancies (2,098) in the most recent 12 months was similar to the number reported in the previous 12 months (2,067).
  • There were no proposed redundancies notified to the Department between mid-April 2019 and mid-May 2019. This follows 1,104 proposed redundancies in the previous period.
  • The number of vacancies notified to the Department for Communities in January-March 2019 was similar to (0.2% below) the number recorded in the same period last year.
  • Full report available here

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