Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a quarterly sample survey carried out by interviewing people about their personal circumstances and work.

Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) we anticipate that there will be some changes in terms of our regular statistical production. See the COVID-19 and the production of statistics page for more information.

The Labour Force Survey latest results published 17th March 2020

                                                          Labour Market Structure

Latest results

  • The NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16+ who were unemployed) for the period November-January 2020 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.4%, one of the lowest rates on record. The unemployment rate increased over the quarter by 0.1 percentage points (pps) from the lowest rate on record and decreased by 1.1pps over the year. The annual change was statistically significant, i.e. the recorded change exceeded the variability expected from a sample survey of this size and was likely to reflect real change.
  • The NI unemployment rate (2.4%) was below the UK rate (3.9%), the European Union (28) rate (6.2%) for December 2019 and the Republic of Ireland rate (4.8%) for December 2019.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter by 0.1pps and increased over the year by 1.3pps to 72.3%, one of the highest rates on record. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in 2018.
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) was unchanged over the quarter and decreased over the year by 0.5pps to one of the lowest rates on record (25.9%). Although the annual change was not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in 2017.

Labour Market Report



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User requested data

Labour market statistics are published regularly throughout the year. We also produce bespoke tables if users request data that are not already available.

    A list of published bespoke tables is available from the User requested data page

    ELMS publication schedule

    Upcoming publication dates from the Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch, including all Labour Force Survey publications, can be found here.

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    Contacts for Labour Force Survey

    Labour Force Survey

    Elizabeth Super
    Telephone: 028 9025 5176
    Twitter: @NISRA