Labour Force Survey

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

The Labour Force Survey latest results published 21st January 2020

                                                          Labour Market Structure

Latest results

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16+ who were unemployed) for the period September-November 2019 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.3%. The unemployment rate decreased over the quarter by 0.6 percentage points (pps) and decreased by 1.2pps over the year. The quarterly and annual changes in the unemployment rate were statistically significant, i.e. the recorded changes exceeded the variability expected from a sample survey of this size and were likely to reflect real change.
  • The NI unemployment rate (2.3%) was below the UK rate (3.8%), the European Union (6.3%) rate for October 2019 and the Republic of Ireland (4.8%) rate for November 2019.
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter by 1.1pps and increased over the year by 2.7pps to 72.6%. The annual change in the employment rate 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 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 by 0.7pps and decreased over the year by 1.9pps to 25.7%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in early 2018.

Labour Market Report



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Historical data

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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