Economic Overview

The most up-to-date official statistics on the economy and labour market, updated 14th March 2023.

Publication Schedule

Economic Overview - Dashboard

Economic Overview - Dashboard (online - opens in a new tab)

A PDF version of the dashboard and the associated data are available at this Economic Overview - Dashboard publication page.

Labour Market Insight - Dashboard


A local labour market insight dashboard has been launched by the Department for Communities which contains data sourced from the Labour Force Survey, Claimant Count, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Business Register and Employment Survey, and Inter Departmental Business Register. The dashboard can be accessed at this link.

Labour Market Insight - Dashboard

Economy & Labour Market - A summary of key statistics

This slide pack provides a high-level statistical summary of the Northern Ireland economy and labour market and should be considered in conjunction with the detailed supporting information and commentary that can be accessed via the various links and associated sources that have been highlighted.  NI Economy & Labour Market - A summary of key statistics.

Latest Labour Market Report

The latest Labour Market Report can be accessed via the Labour Market Overview page.

At a glance
Labour Force Survey

  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (age 16 and over) for the period November-January 2023 was estimated at 2.4%.
  • The seasonally adjusted employment rate (aged 16 to 64) for November-January 2023 was estimated at 71.8%.
  • The seasonally adjusted economic inactivity rate (aged 16 to 64) for November-January 2023 was estimated at 26.4%.

Further information on the Labour Force Survey

Labour Force Survey - Dashboard

Claimant Count (experimental)

  • NI claimant count (experimental) was 35,600, a decrease of 0.1% from the previous month.
  • In February 2023, 3.8% of the NI workforce was recorded on the claimant count.

Further information on Claimant Count


  • 20 redundancies were confirmed in February 2023, taking the annual total to 940, 54.4% less than in the previous 12 months.
  • 440 redundancies were proposed in February 2023. Over the year March 2022 to February 2023, 2,180 redundancies were proposed.

Further information on Redundancies

Quarterly Employment Survey

  • The number of employee jobs in December 2022 was estimated 810,210.

Further information on the Quarterly Employment Survey

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

  • Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2021 were £575, an increase of 8.8% from £529 in 2020. This is the largest annual increase in weekly earnings on record, however it follows the largest annual decrease on record (-1.1% in the year to April 2020).
  • Scroll through our scrollytelling article to see how earnings have changed in Northern Ireland over the last 20 years, and more specifically, how furlough has impacted earnings in the most recent 2 years.

Further information on the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

Business Register and Employment Survey

  • The total number of employee jobs in Northern Ireland in September 2020 was 779,053, a decrease of 6,817 jobs  (-0.9%) since September 2019.

Further information on the Business Register and Employment Survey

Inter Departmental Business Register

  • The number of VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2021 is estimated to have risen by 1,550 (2.0%) since 2020 to 77,640.  This marked the seventh consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2008 to 2014, and is the highest annual increase since 2018.

Further information on the Inter Departmental Business Register.

NI Composite Economic Index

  • The NICEI indicates that economic output increased by 1.2% over the quarter to December 2021.  NI Economic output increased by 4.9% in real terms compared to the same period in the previous year i.e. Quarter 4 2020.

Further information on the Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index

Economic Output - Dashboard

Index of Services

  • Services output in NI saw a quarterly increase of 0.1% in Quarter 3 2022 and an increase of 0.4% over the year. 

Further information on the Index of Services

Retail Sales Index

  • Retail output in NI saw a decrease of 1.7% over the quarter (July - September) and a decrease of 5.3% over the year.

Further information on the Retail Sales Index

    Index of Production

    • The NI IOP increased by 0.5% over the quarter (July - September) and increased by 1.9% over the year.

    Further information on the Index of Production

    Northern Ireland Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES)

    • In 2020, total sales by companies in Northern Ireland (NI) were estimated to be worth £67.1 billion.

    Further information on the BESES

    Index of Construction

    • In the fourth quarter of 2021, the total volume of construction output increased by 0.7% over the quarter, decreased by 6.1% over the year and increased by 11.5% on a rolling four quarter basis. Construction output is 3.8% above the pre-Coronavirus pandemic level seen in Quarter 4 2019.

    Further information on the Index of Construction