Labour Market Report November 2019

Date published: 12 November 2019

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate for July-September 2019 (2.5%) decreased over the quarter by 0.6 percentage points to the lowest on record. The inactivity rate (25.8%) increased over the quarter by 0.4 percentage points and the employment rate (72.3%) increased over the quarter by 0.1 percentage points to the highest on record.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period July-September 2019 indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment rate decreased while the employment and economic inactivity rates increased.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased over the quarter (0.6pps) and over the year (1.3pps) to the lowest rate on record (2.5%) in July-September 2019. The annual change was statistically significant. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (3.8%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.3%) and the EU rate (6.2%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter (0.1pps) and the year (2.8pps) to the highest rate on record (72.3%). The annual change was statistically significant. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 76.0%.
  • 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 0.4pps over the quarter and decreased by 1.9pps over the year to one of the lowest rates on record (25.8%). Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in late 2017/early 2018. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.8%).
  • There were 84 proposed redundancies and 82 confirmed redundancies notified to the Department in October 2019. The number of confirmed redundancies (3,096) in the most recent 12 months was higher than the previous 12 months (2,742). 
  • The latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings estimates indicate that median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2019 was £535, £50 lower than the UK median (£585) and an increase of £16.80 (3.3%) over the year. When adjusted for inflation, weekly earnings increased by 1.2% over the year in NI and by 0.9% in the UK.
  • The full report is available on the Labour Market Report - November 2019 page

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