Labour Market Report November 2018

Date published: 13 November 2018

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 4.1% (July-September 2018); an increase over the quarter. The inactivity rate (28.5%) increased while the employment rate (68.5%) decreased over the quarter.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period July-September 2018 indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment rate and the economic inactivity rate both increased while the employment rate decreased. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count (experimental) increased in October 2018.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.8pps) and increased over the year (0.4pps) to 68.5%. Although the quarterly and annual changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate is statistically significantly above rates in 2010. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 75.5%.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter and was unchanged over the year (4.1% in July-September 2018). Although the quarterly change was not statistically significant, the unemployment rate is significantly below rates in 2016. The NI unemployment rate was level with the UK rate (4.1%) and below the Republic of Ireland rate of 5.6% and the EU rate of 6.8%.
  • 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 by 0.6pps over the quarter and decreased by 0.4pps over the year to 28.5%. Although neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant, the inactivity rate is significantly above rates in 2016 and remains well above the UK rate of 21.2%.
  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) increased by 400 over the month to 29,500 in October 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.
  • The number of confirmed redundancies (2,741) in the most recent 12 months is 33% higher than in the previous 12 months.
  • The latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings estimates indicate that median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2018 was £521, an increase of 4.2% from £500 in 2017. When adjusted for inflation, weekly earnings increased by 2.0%, following a decrease in real earnings last year.
  • Full report available here

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