Look beyond the economic headlines

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If there’s one thing that 2016 has perhaps taught us, it’s that you have to be wary of headlines. When it came to both the EU referendum debate and the US Presidential election, partisan UK and US media organisations often dominated public discourse with overly-simplified headlines that didn’t do justice to complex and nuanced stories. Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – No time to rest

Unemployment may be low and job growth robust, but it’s not time to rest. The UK’s productivity performance is screaming for more investment. So it’s encouraging that more spending on infrastructure and R&D look to be key planks of the government’s ‘industrial strategy’. We await Wednesday’s Autumn Statement for more detail.

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Women lead the way in labour market figures

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The headlines in Northern Ireland’s latest labour market statistics make for pleasant reading.

Unemployment is continuing to fall and fresh record highs and lows were established for the employment and economic inactivity rates respectively.

However, these headlines conceal a significant divergence with respect to gender. Continue reading

Chief Economist’s Weekly Brief – Delivering

The UK’s service sector delivered yet again in Q3, propelling the economy to a 0.5%q/q expansion. In the past five years service sector output has risen 14%. Not far behind the 17% rise in the five ‘boom’ years to 2008.  So it’s a robust performance. Higher inflation will provide a test over the coming year. But at least momentum is strong.

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The highs and lows of the labour market

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The latest batch of Northern Ireland labour market statistics was littered with highs and lows of the positive variety. Of particular note were the record high in Northern Ireland’s employment rate and the record low in the economic inactivity rate. These improvements were due to a notable improvement in female participation in the labour market. Other notable highlights included a record number of people in employment (847,000) in the three months to August 2016. Continue reading

Podcast – latest labour market and output figures

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A raft of economic data was released today covering the labour market as well output figures. The figures are broadly positive – not least the fact that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has fallen.

However, there are a number of challenges – notably the fact that the number of people claiming other benefits is actually rising by as much as the number of people claiming unemployment benefit is falling. Listen to our podcasts to hear more.

Labour market figures

 

Output figures