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Labour Force Surveys Figures Just Released
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BELOW is information about the National Statistics detailing the latest labour market figures published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA). It can be accessed via:

The Main Results:

Labour Force Survey – Unemployment

The Northern Ireland seasonally adjusted unemployment rate2, as measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS), was estimated at 7.2% for the period January – March 2011. This represented a decrease from the rate of 8.0% in the previous quarter, but an increase from the rate of 6.9% recorded in the previous year. The Northern Ireland unemployment rate was below the UK average rate (7.7%) and was also lower than the European Union (9.5%) and Republic of Ireland (14.9%) rates for February 2011

Unadjusted LFS estimates for January – March 2011 show that 47.7% of those unemployed in Northern Ireland have been unemployed for one year or more. They also record the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds at 17.8%.

Claimant Count Unemployment

The seasonally adjusted number of people claiming unemployment related benefits4 stood at 59,200 in April 2011 – up 200 (0.3%) from the previous month. The latest monthly increase in Northern Ireland (0.3%) compared to a monthly rise of 0.9% in the UK as a whole. Over the year, the Northern Ireland claimant count has increased by 6.5% (3,600), compared to a decrease of 3.0% in the UK. The annual increase in Northern Ireland was the largest among the twelve UK regions.

Labour Force Survey – Employment

Seasonally adjusted estimates for the period January – March 2011 showed that there were 785,000 people in employment in Northern Ireland. This estimate was up 1.5% over the quarter and up 1.7% over the year.

Labour Force Survey – Economic Inactivity

The seasonally adjusted number of working age6 persons that were economically inactive decreased by 6,000 (1.9%) over the quarter and the corresponding working age economic inactivity rate decreased to 27.8% (in January – March 2011). However, the Northern Ireland inactivity rate (27.8%) remained considerably higher than the UK average rate (23.2%) and was the highest of the twelve UK regions.

Unadjusted LFS estimates can provide information on the reason for economic inactivity. In January – March 2011 an estimated 29% of the economically inactive of working age in Northern Ireland were sick/disabled, 28% were students, 25% were looking after the family/home, 12% were retired and 6% were ‘other’ reason.


The Department was notified of 124 confirmed redundancies7-9 which took place in April 2011. This compared to 245 in March 2011 and 308 in April 2010. There has been a 49% decrease in the number of confirmed redundancies over the last year to 30th April 2011 – 1,770 compared to 3,449 in the previous year.