Labour Market Report September 2017

Date published: 13 September 2017

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 5.3% (May - July 2017), down 0.1 percentage points over the quarter; the claimant count fell by 200 persons over the month (to August).

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period May - July 2017 indicate that over the quarter, the economic inactivity rate increased, while the unemployment rate and the employment rate both decreased. The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in Northern Ireland (NI) decreased in August 2017.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.5 pps) and over the year (1.3pps) to 68.2%.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate (16+) decreased over the quarter and the year to May - July 2017 to 5.3%. The equivalent UK unemployment rate was down over the quarter and over the year to 4.3%.
  • The NI unemployment rate was below the European Union (7.7%) rate and Republic of Ireland (6.3%) rate for June 2017.
  • 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) was 27.8%, up 0.6 pps over the quarter and 1.5 pps over the year.
  • None of the reported changes in employment, unemployment or economic inactivity were statistically significant over the quarter or the year. However, there have been statistically significant changes in the medium term – the increase in the employment rate compared to November - January 2010; the decrease in the unemployment rate compared to November – January 2014; and the decrease in the economic inactivity rate compared to May - July 2009.
  • The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits (from NI Jobs and Benefits Offices) decreased by 200 over the month to 29,800 in August 2017. This is the 18th consecutive monthly decrease.
  • Businesses reported that the number of employee jobs increased over the quarter (4,680) and increased over the year (10,100) to June 2017 (749,740). Private sector employee jobs increased over the second quarter (Q2) of 2017 and over the year to an historical high while the public sector decreased over the quarter and over the year.
  • Full report available here

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