Labour Market Report September 2018

Date published: 11 September 2018

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results released at 9.30am today indicated that the unemployment rate was 4.0% (May-July 2018), up 0.7 percentage points over the quarter. The inactivity rate (27.7%) and the employment rate (69.3%) both decreased over the quarter.

Key Points

  • The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates for the period May-July 2018 indicate that, over the quarter, the employment rate and the economic inactivity rate both decreased while the unemployment rate increased. The number of people on the Northern Ireland claimant count (experimental) decreased in August 2018.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.3pps) and increased over the year (1.1pps) to 69.3%. Although the quarterly and annual changes were not statistically significant, the increase from 2013 was statistically significant.  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 decreased over the year to 4.0% in May-July 2018. Although the quarterly and annual changes were not statistically significant, the decrease from the beginning of 2017 was statistically significant.
  • The UK unemployment rate (4.0%) decreased over the quarter and over the year to its joint lowest rate on record. The NI unemployment rate was the same as the UK unemployment rate, and below the European Union (6.9%) and Republic of Ireland (5.1%) rates (June 2018).
  • 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 by 0.2pps over the quarter and year to 27.7%. Although neither the annual nor quarterly changes were statistically significant, the decrease from 2009 was statistically significant.
  • The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) decreased by 100 over the month to 28,000 in August 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.
  • Businesses reported an increase in employee jobs over the quarter and year, to a series high of 765,100 jobs in June 2018. Increases were seen across all broad industry sectors over the quarter and year, with the services sector accounting for the majority of the quarterly and annual growth.
  • During August 2018, 117 redundancies took place, a decrease from July’s total (133).
  • Full report available here

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