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 23rd March 2021.

The survey date for Quarter 4 was 1st December 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 December 2020 was estimated at 770,900. This was a decrease of 2,400 jobs (-0.3%) over the quarter and a decrease of 9,070 jobs (-1.2%) over the year. Neither the quarterly nor the annual changes in employee jobs were found to be statistically significant.
  • December 2020 marked the third consecutive quarter of decline in employee jobs, and the second consecutive quarter of annual decline since September 2012.
  • Quarterly decreases in employee jobs were seen within the construction, services and other industries sectors to December 2020. Manufacturing was the only broad industry sector to report an increase over the quarter (+0.9% or +800 jobs), following five previous consecutive quarters of decline.
  • Both the manufacturing (-1.0% or -830 jobs) and services (-1.6% or -9,870 jobs) sectors experienced decreases in employee jobs over the year.
  • The annualised growth rate of total employee jobs has fallen every quarter between March 2018 (2.3%) and December 2020 (-0.2%). December 2020 marked the first negative annualised growth rate since December 2012.
  • Private sector jobs continued to decrease over the quarter (-0.7% or -3,650 jobs) and the year (-1.7% or -9,580 jobs) to 558,400 jobs. Public sector jobs increased marginally over both the quarter (+0.3% or +580 jobs) and the year (+0.3% or +560 jobs) to 212,210 jobs in December 2020.
  • In the last five years, employee jobs have increased by 5.7% (+41,270 jobs). There has been an increase of 11.5% (+79,590 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