Northern Ireland Labour Report Summary

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits has decreased by 10,300 in the last 12 months, according to the latest Northern Ireland Labour Report. The report which was published today (February 17), includes latest statistics on employment, unemployment, inactivity, jobseekers, vacancies and redundancies. Key findings included;

  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) measure of unemployment in Northern Ireland (NI) showed a marginal decrease over the quarter to October – December 2015. The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits in NI decreased in January by 800.
  • Over both the quarter and the year, the employment rate increased and the economic inactivity rate decreased. The female employment rate decreased, while the male rate increased.
  • The LFS indicated that the NI unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points over the quarter, to 5.8%.

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  • The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits (from NI Jobs and Benefits Offices) decreased by 800 over the month and decreased by 10,300 (21.4%) over the year, to 37,800 in January 2016. The figures suggest that Derry and Strabane remains the council area with the highest unemployment.

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  • Although there was no change in the unemployment rate over the year, there was a decrease over the quarter by 0.1 percentage points.
  • The number of people claiming unemployment related benefits has fallen by 26,900 since the most recent peak in February 2013.
  • The long term unemployment rate (LFS) was 51.7%, a decrease of 3.9 percentage points (pps) on the previous year. This was markedly higher than for the UK (29.3%).
  • The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) increased over the quarter and over the year to 68.8%. This was lower than the UK employment rate (74.1%). 
  • During January 2016 the department was notified of 260 confirmed redundancies in Northern Ireland, a decrease over the year. The highest proportion of redundancies was found in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

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