Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency Labour Force Update – August 11th 2020

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency released The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates on August 11th. They indicated the following key points:

Claimant Count

The number of people on the NI claimant count (experimental) increased by 500 over the month to 62,800 in July 2020. This July count is more than double the number recorded in March. The experimental Claimant Count includes Jobseeker’s Allowance Claimants and those claimants of Universal Credit who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed.

Proposed Redundancies

There were 1,904 proposed redundancies in July 2020 and 163 proposed between 1st and 10th August. From 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020, 8,755 redundancies were proposed, the highest annual total since records began.

Confirmed Redundancies

The department was notified of 610 confirmed redundancies in July 2020, taking the number of confirmed redundancies to 3,112 in 12 months to end of July; compared to 1,785 the previous year.

Median Monthly Pay

Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,681 in the three months to June 2020, a decrease of 1.5% on the previous three months and an increase of 0.8% from the same time last year.

Job Vacancies

There were 7,911 vacancies notified during April-June 2020, a decrease of 8,494 (52%) from January-March. This includes full-time, part-time, and casual vacancies. Three quarters of vacancies were full-time.

General Background

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates relate to April-June 2020. The estimates indicate that, over the quarter, the unemployment and economic inactivity rates increased, and the employment rate decreased.

The NI economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) increased over the quarter (0.6pps) and over the year (0.9pps) to 26.4%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the economic inactivity rate was significantly below rates in late 2017. The NI economic inactivity rate remained above the UK rate (20.4%). that the unemployment rate (2.5%) and economic inactivity rate (26.4%) increased over the quarter to April-June 2020. The employment rate (71.7%) decreased over the quarter.

Unemployment Rate

The NI unemployment rate (16+) increased over the quarter (0.1pps) and decreased over the year (0.6pps) to (2.5%) in April-June 2020. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the unemployment rate was significantly below rates in 2018. The NI unemployment rate was below the UK rate (3.9%), the Republic of Ireland rate (5.3%) and the EU (27) rate (6.7%).

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased over the quarter (0.7pps) and over the year (0.4pps) to 71.7%. Although recent changes were not statistically significant, the employment rate was significantly above rates in 2018. The latest employment rate recorded for the whole of the UK was 76.4%.

Source: NISRA Labour Market Report – August 2020 -The full report can be read by clicking here

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