Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a quarterly sample survey carried out by interviewing people about their personal circumstances and work.

The Labour Force Survey latest results published 21st February 2018.

A small textual error was corrected at 10.00am on day of publication. LMR with corrected infographic is below.

Latest results

  • The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period October-December 2017 was 3.9%, the joint lowest reported figure since 2008. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 pps from the previous quarter and 1.4 pps over the year (from 5.3%). The annual and quarterly rate changes were not statistically significant, i.e. the recorded changes did not exceed the variability expected from a sample survey of this size and would, therefore, not likely reflect a real change.
  • The latest NI unemployment rate (3.9%) was below the UK average of 4.4% and was the third lowest unemployment rate of the UK regions. Additionally, it was below the European Union (7.3%) rate and Republic of Ireland (6.1%) rate for November 2017.
  • There was an increase (0.6 pps) in the employment rate (68.7%) over the quarter and a 1.2 pps decrease over the year.  Although these short-term changes were not significant, looking at the longer-term shows that there has been a significant increase since April-June 2013, and particularly since the low rates recorded in 2009.  The current rate is similar to the rates seen since 2015.
  • The economic inactivity rate (28.4%) decreased over the quarter by 0.5 pps and increased by 2.3 pps over the year. The change in the inactivity rate was not statistically significant over the quarter but was statistically significant over the year.

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Labour Force Survey

Carly Gordon
Telephone: 028 9025 5172