Labour Market Report May 2022

Date published: 17 May 2022

The latest labour market statistics were published today (17th May 2022) by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Payrolled employees now higher than pre-COVID for the eleventh consecutive month

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in April 2022 was 774,600, an increase of 0.4% over the month and 4.5% over the year to the highest level on record.  This is the highest on record and the eleventh consecutive month that employee numbers have been above pre-COVID levels.
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,945 in April 2022, an increase of £6 (0.3%) over the month and an increase of £129 (7.1%) over the year. 

Lowest NI Claimant Count (Experimental Series) total since March 2020

  • In April 2022, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 36,500 (3.9% of the workforce), which is a decrease of 900 (2.4%) from the previous month’s revised figure.  The April claimant count remains higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020 (by 23%).

Decrease in annual proposed and confirmed redundancies trends continue

  • The number of redundancies proposed in April was low, and in line with the statistical disclosure control policy cannot be disclosed (preventing potential identification of individual businesses).
  • NISRA received confirmation that 80 redundancies occurred in April 2022.  At 1,810, the annual total was 69% less than in the previous year. 
  • Over the year May 2021 to April 2022, 2,210 redundancies were proposed, 76% less than in the previous 12 months.

Labour Force Survey headline measures

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16 and over who were unemployed) for the period January-March 2022 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.3%, which is the joint lowest on record.  The unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and by 1.2pps over the year.  The annual change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter by 1.5pps and over the year by 2.0pps to 72.2%.  The quarterly change was statistically significant and is likely to reflect real change.  The total number of weekly hours worked in NI (28.8 million) increased by 6.4% over the quarter and by 9.9% over the year. 
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) decreased by 1.2pps over the quarter and over the year to 26.0%.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - May 2022 page.

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