Economic Overview

The most up-to-date official statistics on the economy and labour market, updated 13th February 2024.

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 October-December 2023 was estimated at 2.6%.
  • The seasonally adjusted employment rate (aged 16 to 64) for October-December 2023 was estimated at 71.3%.
  • The seasonally adjusted economic inactivity rate (aged 16 to 64) for October-December 2023 was estimated at 26.8%.

Further information on the Labour Force Survey

Labour Force Survey - Dashboard

Claimant Count (experimental)

  • NI claimant count (experimental) was 35,800, a decrease of 0.4% from the previous month.
  • In January 2024, 3.7% of the NI workforce was recorded on the claimant count.

Further information on Claimant Count


  • 50 redundancies were confirmed in January 2024, taking the annual total to 2,380, which was almost two and a half times more than the previous 12 months (970).
  • There were 140 proposed redundancies in January 2024, taking the annual total to 4,000, which was approximately double the previous year (1,960).

Further information on Redundancies

Quarterly Employment Survey

  • The number of employee jobs in September 2023 was estimated 822,870.

Further information on the Quarterly Employment Survey

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

  • Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in April 2023 increased by 7.4% from £597 in 2022 to £641 in 2023. This year’s annual increase is the second largest on record.
  • In real terms (that is, adjusted for inflation) weekly earnings in NI decreased by 0.3% over the year to April 2023, which is the second consecutive real terms decrease, following the largest annual decrease on record to April 2022 (3.7%).

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 0.6% over the quarter to September 2023 and increased by 2.2% over the year.

Further information on the Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index

Economic Output - Dashboard

Index of Services

Further information on the Index of Services

Retail Sales Index

  • NI Retail Sales Index output, a subset of the Index of Services, decreased 0.9% over the quarter; increased by 3.6% over the year; and decreased by 0.1% over the most recent four quarters compared to the previous four quarters. Please note that the experimental Retail Sales Index is included in the NI IOS from Quarter 3 2023.

Further information on the Index of Services

    Index of Production

    • The NI IOP decreased by 2.1% over the quarter (July - September) and by 4.1% 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 third quarter of 2023, the total volume of construction output increased by 1.6%, increased by 7.8% over the year and increased by 6.2% on a rolling four quarters basis.

    Further information on the Index of Construction