Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland unemployment hits record low: report

Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey
Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Unemployment in Northern Ireland has fallen to a record low of 2.3%, according to a government report.

The labour force survey revealed the rate had fallen 1.3 percentage points over the year, a trend which the NI Statistics and Research Agency said reflected “significant” change.

The level for joblessness for August to October was well below the UK rate of 3.8% and the Republic’s joblessness level of 5.3%. 

And the rate of employment among the working age population in Northern Ireland was 72.4%, the highest on record.  That was up by 3.9 percentage points over the year.

However, Northern Ireland’s employment rate still lags the UK average of 76.2%.

And while the employment rate also covers those who are self-employed, there was also a surge in employee job numbers.

There were 782,670 employee jobs, with numbers surging by 4,210 over the quarter and 15,540 jobs over the year.

Sign In

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said the rise in employee jobs was a surprise as business conditions in Northern Ireland have been getting worse.

He said: “Northern Ireland has now posted 15 consecutive quarters of employment growth and 21 successive quarters of private sector jobs growth.”

The economic inactivity rate — which covers those who are neither in work nor looking for work, was one of the lowest on record NI at 25.9%, though it remained the highest average rate for the UK regions.  Across the UK, the average economic inactivity rate was 20.8%.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular