Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a quarterly sample survey carried out by interviewing people about their personal circumstances and work. If you have been selected to take part in the survey please provide contact details to participate in a survey.

                                                          Labour Market Structure

Latest results published 12th October 2021

  • 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.
  • Put into the context of the UK, NI had the fifth-lowest unemployment rate, the lowest employment rate and the highest economic inactivity rate of all the UK regions.

Labour Market Report


Monthly tables are published along with the Labour Market Report. They include headline estimates for employment, unemployment and economic inactivity (seasonally adjusted and unadjusted), labour market status by age, reasons for inactivity, employment categories, hours of work and international comparisons.

Quarterly tables include information on graduates, education and training, disability and the labour market, NEET and working and workless households.

The monthly labour market tables in a historical series

Tables published with the annual report in 2020 relating to 2019 data also includes tables for ODP indicators 14, 16, 17, 32, 33 and 34.

Tables relating to ODP indicators 14, 16, 17, 32, 33 and 34


COVID-19 analysis

Regional tables

Historical data

Background information

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

    Information on user events and consultations is available on the Labour Market Statistics User Engagement page.

    ELMS publication schedule

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

    Selected for the Labour Force Survey

    If you have been selected to take part in the Labour Force Survey please provide us with a telephone number so that we can reach you.

    Due to current government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) we are unable to send an interviewer in person to your address to carry out this study. We can carry out the study over the telephone instead.

    Please access the link below which contains more information and the secure link to enter your contact details and we will telephone you.

    Provide contact details to participate

    Mailing list

    If you would like to be added to a mailing list and receive the latest publications on the day they publish please email: with the title of the publications you would like to receive.