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NI payrolled employees hit record high

Redundancies continue to increase as job 


Redundancies continued to increase. [Stock image]

Redundancies continued to increase. [Stock image]

Redundancies continued to increase. [Stock image]

The latest government labour market statistics show payrolled employees are at a record high. 

The figures, published on Thursday by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency show the number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in June 2021 was 757,200, an increase of 1.4% over the month and 2.6% over the year. This is the highest on record and the first time that employee numbers were above pre-Covid levels.

NI had the lowest unemployment rate, the lowest employment rate and the highest economic inactivity rate of all the UK regions, the latest publication reveals. 

Across the UK the number of job vacancies in the UK surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the three months to June.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 862,000 jobs on offer between April and June, 77,500 higher than the quarter of 2020.

The ONS said the rise was driven by "hospitality, wholesaling and retailing".

The Northern Ireland figures also continue to show unprecedented numbers of redundancies with the highest recorded since 2001

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A total of 490 redundancies were proposed during June 2021, taking the total number of collective redundancies in the last 12 months to 7,180, similar to the number recorded in the previous 12 months (6,940).

A further 850 redundancies have been proposed to date in July.

The continuing high numbers of redundancies may be down to the tapering off of Covid job support furlough scheme.

Provisional HMRC data shows the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme supported 59,000 jobs at the end of May (equivalent to a take-up rate of 8%). This was a decrease from 93,000 supported jobs at the end of April and equivalent to approximately half the number of jobs supported in January.

The claimant count decreased for the fourth consecutive month. 

In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of people on the claimant count was 51,200 (5.2% of the workforce), which is a decrease of 2,000 (3.8%) from the previous month’s revised figure and 17.0% below June 2020. The claimant count remains almost 70% above the number recorded in March 2020.

Earnings from the HMRC PAYE indicated that NI employees had a median monthly pay of £1,822 in June 2021, an increase of £8 (0.4%) over the month and £97 (5.6%) over the year.

The unemployment rate was unchanged over the quarter and up over the year

The latest NI seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (the proportion of economically active people aged 16+ who were unemployed) for the period March to May 2021 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 3.6%. The unemployment rate remained unchanged over the quarter and increased by 1.1 percentage points (pps) over the year.