Labour Market Report October 2020

Date published: 13 October 2020

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates released at 7.00am today indicated that the unemployment rate (3.7%) increased over the quarter to June-August 2020. The employment (70.6%) and economic inactivity (26.6%) rates decreased over the quarter.

Key Points

  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) remained unchanged over the month at 62,000 in September 2020. This September count is more than double the number recorded in March. 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.
  • There were 1,150 proposed redundancies in September 2020 and 570 proposed between 1st and 12th October. From 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020, 8,860 redundancies were proposed, the second highest annual total since records began. The department was notified of 460 confirmed redundancies in September 2020, taking the number of confirmed redundancies to 2,900 in the 12 months to the end of September; compared to 3,130 the previous year.
  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in August 2020 was 742,300, a decrease of 0.3% over the month and 0.7% over the year. The flash estimate for September shows an increase of 0.2% on August’s figure to 744,000.
  • Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,749 in August 2020, an increase of 0.3% over the month and 4.0% from the same time last year. The flash estimate for September shows an increase of 0.5% on August’s figure to £1,757.
  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates relate to June-August 2020. The estimates indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment rate increased and the employment and economic inactivity rates decreased.
  • The NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter (1.2pps) and the year (0.8pps) to 3.7% in June-August 2020. The quarterly change was statistically significant. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (4.5%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.0%) and the EU (27) rate (7.2%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.3pps) and over the year (0.8pps) to 70.6%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in 2017. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 75.6%.
  • 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 over the quarter (0.7pps) and increased over the year (0.2pps) to 26.6%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in 2017. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.8%).
  • The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - October 2020 page

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