Labour Market Report May 2021

Date published: 18 May 2021

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates relate to January-March 2021 and indicate that, over the quarter, the employment rate decreased, the economic inactivity rate increased and the unemployment remained unchanged.

  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased over the month to 57,400 in April 2021. 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.
  • From 1st May 2020 to 30th April 2021, 9,350 redundancies were proposed, more than double the previous 12 months. 140 redundancies were proposed in the three-month period February to April 2021 and a further 150 in the first two weeks of May. The department was notified of 110 confirmed redundancies in April 2021, taking the annual total to 5,780.
  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in April 2021 was 740,200, a decrease of 0.2% both over the month and over the year. This is 1.5% below the total recorded in March 2020.
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,826 in April 2021, an increase of 1.1% over the month and 9.9% over the year. The median monthly pay in April 2021 was 4.4% above the value in March 2020.
  • The NI unemployment rate (16+) remained unchanged over the quarter and increased over the year (1.2pps) to 3.6% in January-March 2021. The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (4.8%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.3pps) and the year (2.8pps) to 69.1%. The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 75.2%.
  • 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 (0.4pps) and the year (2.1pps) to 28.3%. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (21.0%).
  • The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - May 2021 page.

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