Quarterly Employment Survey

The QES provides short-term employee jobs estimates for NI, which are then used by the ONS to feed into the calculation of the quarterly workforce jobs estimates for the UK as a whole.

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. From April 2020 and until further notice, Quarterly Employment Survey data will be published on the NISRA website at 7am, a change from the standard 9.30am release time.

Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) latest results were published 15th December 2020.

The survey date for Quarter 3 was 7th September 2020 for Northern Ireland. Those who are furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are included in employee jobs estimates.

Latest results

  • The number of employee jobs in September 2020 was estimated at 775,020. This was a decrease of 3,260 jobs (-0.4%) over the quarter and a decrease of 4,080 jobs (-0.5%) over the year. Neither the quarterly nor the annual changes in employee jobs were found to be statistically significant.
  • September 2020 marked the third consecutive quarter of decline in employee jobs, and the first annual decline since September 2012.
  • Quarterly decreases in employee jobs were seen within the manufacturing, services and other industries sectors to September 2020. Construction was the only broad industry sector to report an increase over the quarter (+1.3% or +470 jobs).
  • Both the manufacturing (-3.3% or -2,930 jobs) and services (-0.4% or -2,760 jobs) sectors experienced decreases in employee jobs over the year. The manufacturing sector has experienced five consecutive quarters of decline since the peak in June 2019 (-3.7% or -3,280 jobs since June 2019).
  • The annualised growth rate of total employee jobs has fallen every quarter between March 2018 (2.3%) and September 2020 (0.3%).
  • Despite the reclassification of approximately 3,000 Registered Housing Association employee jobs from the public to the private sector this quarter, private sector jobs decreased over the quarter (-0.4% or -2,410 jobs) and the year (-0.9% or -5,160 jobs). The annual decrease in private sector jobs was the first annual decrease seen since June 2012.
  • In the last five years, employee jobs have increased by 5.8% (+42,780 jobs). There has been an increase of 12.1% (+83,720 jobs) from the low in March 2012.



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Contacts for Quarterly Employment Survey

Quarterly Employment Survey

Lynda Kennedy
Telephone: 028 9052 9351
Email: lynda.kennedy@nisra.gov.uk
Twitter: @NISRA