Labour Market Report October 2021

Date published: 12 October 2021

The labour market statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency. Labour market indicators continue to show improvements over the short-term. Most indicators (with the exception of payrolled employees) have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Labour Market Report Infographic - October 2021
Labour Market Report Infographic - October 2021
Payrolled employees now higher than pre-COVID for the fourth consecutive month

  • The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in September 2021 was 765,600, an increase of 0.3% over the month and 4.0% over the year.  This is the highest on record and the fourth 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 £1,831 in September 2021, an increase of £7 (0.4%) over the month and an increase of £67 (3.8%) over the year.

NI Claimant Count (Experimental Series) decreased for the seventh consecutive month

  • In September 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 47,900 (4.9% of the workforce), which is a decrease of 200 (0.5%) from the previous month’s revised figure.  The September claimant count is 25% below the recent peak in May 2020, and 57% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.

Lowest rolling 12-month total of proposed redundancies since late 2019

  • During September 2021, 130 redundancies were confirmed, taking the annual total to 4,730.  This annual total was 63% higher than in the previous year (2,900).
  • Over the year from 1st October 2020 to 30th September 2021, 4,310 redundancies were proposed, 51% 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+ who were unemployed) for the period June-August 2021 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 4.1%.  The unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and increased by 0.5pps over the year.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter by 0.8pps and was unchanged over the year at 71.1%.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) decreased over the quarter by 1.3pps and over the year by 0.3pps to 25.8%.  Neither the quarterly nor annual changes were statistically significant.
  • The total number of weekly hours worked in NI was estimated at 27.1million, an increase of 1.9% on the previous quarter and 7.9% on the equivalent period last year.

The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the Labour Market Report - October 2021 page.

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