The labour market statistics were published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.
Payrolled employees decreased and monthly earnings increased over the month
- The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in NI in August 2023 was 791,300, a 0.1% decrease over the month and a 1.5% increase over the year.
- Earnings data from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of Pound 2,094 in August 2023, an increase of Pound 2 (0.1%) over the month and an increase of Pound 119 (6.0%) over the year.
Claimant Count Rate remains relatively constant over previous year
- In August 2023, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 36,700 (3.8% of the workforce), an increase of 0.4% from the previous month's revised figure. The August 2023 claimant count remains 22.9% higher than the pre-pandemic count in March 2020.
Proposed redundancies over three and a half times the total for previous year
- NISRA, acting on behalf of the Department for the Economy, received confirmation that 200 redundancies occurred in August 2023. Over the year September 2022 to August 2023, 1,520 redundancies were confirmed, 40.7% more than in the previous 12 months.
- Over the twelve months to August 2023, there were 4,420 proposed redundancies, over three and a half times the total for the previous year (1,220).
Labour Force Survey employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity rates show little change over the year
- The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people age 16 and over who were unemployed) for the period May-July 2023 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.7%. This was an increase of 0.3 percentage points (pps) over the quarter and a decrease of 0.2pps over the year.
- The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) decreased by 1.3pps over the quarter and increased by 1.5pps over the year to 71.1%.
- The total number of weekly hours worked in NI (27.8 million) decreased by 4.2% over the quarter and increased by 1.5% over the year.
- The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working and not seeking or available to work) increased by 1.1pps over the quarter and decreased by 1.3pps over the year to 26.9%.
Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) headline measures
- Businesses reported that employee jobs decreased over the quarter (-0.2%) and increased over the year (1.7%) to 813,450 jobs in June 2023. The annual change was statistically significant.
- The latest labour market release shows that over the year both payrolled employee numbers and earnings have increased, while employee jobs have also increased. In addition, the Labour Force Survey employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity rates have seen little change over the year.
- The latest HMRC payroll data shows that payrolled employee numbers decreased by 0.1% over the month and increased by 1.5% over the year. Payrolled earnings increased by 0.1% over the month and were 6.0% higher than August 2022.
- Businesses reported, via the Quarterly Employment Survey, that employee jobs in NI decreased over the quarter but increased over the year to 813,450 jobs in June 2023. Quarterly increases in employee jobs were seen within the manufacturing, construction and other industries sectors to June 2023, with employee jobs within the services sector decreasing over the quarter. There were increases in employee jobs over the year within the manufacturing, services and other industries sectors to June 2023, with employee jobs within the construction sector decreasing over the year.
- Households reported, via the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a 1.5pps increase in the employment rate over the year to May-July 2023, to 71.1%, while there were decreases over the year to May-July 2023 in both the economic inactivity rate (by 1.3pps to 26.9%) and the unemployment rate (by 0.2pps to 2.7%). Caution is advised when interpreting these results however as none of the annual changes were statistically significant. At May-July 2023, the economic inactivity rate was 1.0pps above the pre-pandemic position recorded in November-January 2020, while the unemployment rate for May-July 2023 was 0.3pps above the pre-pandemic rate. The employment rate for May-July 2023 sat 1.2pps below the pre-pandemic position recorded in November-January 2020.
- The total number of hours worked in May-July 2023 increased by 1.5% over the year, to 27.8 million hours per week. This is 3.7% below the pre-pandemic position recorded in November-January 2020.
- The Department was notified of 200 confirmed redundancies in August 2023, which brought the rolling twelve-month total of confirmed redundancies to 1,520. This is the sixth consecutive month that this total has been over 1,000, and is the highest total since May 2022, although this figure is still well below the long term trend. There have also been 4,420 proposed redundancies notified to the Department over the year September 2022 to August 2023-the highest rolling twelve-month total since August 2021 and over three and a half times the figure for the previous year (1,220).
- Lastly, there was a small increase in the claimant count estimate, by 0.4%, over the month to August 2023 from the revised figure for July 2023. The claimant count rate remained at 3.8% for the second month running and this is the seventeenth consecutive month that the claimant count rate has been within the range 3.6% to 3.8%.