Labour Market Profile - Northern Ireland

The profile brings together data from several sources. Details about these and related terminology are given in the definitions section.

All figures are the most recent available.

Resident Population

  Northern Ireland
(level)
United Kingdom
(level)
All people 1,904,600 67,026,300
Males 936,800 32,811,500
Females 967,700 34,214,800
Source: Population estimates - local authority based by five year age band
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
All people 1,187,200 62.3 42,174,700 62.9
Males 586,300 62.6 20,765,700 63.3
Females 600,900 62.1 21,409,000 62.6
Source: Population estimates - local authority based by five year age band
Notes:   % is a proportion of total population

Labour Supply

  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
All people
Economically active† 897,000 73.0 34,477,000 77.7
In employment† 877,000 71.3 32,967,000 74.3
Unemployed§ 20,000 2.2 1,510,000 4.4
Economically inactive‡ 319,000 27.0 9,434,000 22.3
Males
Economically active† 470,000 76.5 17,802,000 81.1
In employment† 458,000 74.5 16,955,000 77.1
Unemployed§ 12,000 2.6 847,000 4.8
Economically inactive‡ 137,000 23.5 3,946,000 18.9
Females
Economically active† 426,000 69.5 16,675,000 74.5
In employment† 418,000 68.2 16,012,000 71.6
Unemployed§ 8,000 1.9 663,000 4.0
Economically inactive‡ 182,000 30.5 5,488,000 25.5
Source: Labour Force Survey
†   -   level are for those aged 16 and over, % are for those aged 16-64
‡   -   level and % are for those aged 16-64
§   -   level and % are for those aged 16 and over. % is a proportion of economically active

  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
All people
Total 289,900 24.7 8,887,200 21.3
Student 75,200 25.9 2,378,900 26.8
looking after family/home 48,800 16.8 1,709,600 19.2
temporary sick 6,400 2.2 171,900 1.9
long-term sick 109,500 37.8 2,446,300 27.5
discouraged # # 21,000 0.2
retired 34,600 11.9 1,190,600 13.4
other 14,800 5.1 968,800 10.9
 
wants a job 44,200 15.2 1,555,100 17.5
does not want a job 245,700 84.8 7,332,000 82.5
Source: ONS annual population survey
Notes:   numbers are for those aged 16-64.
  % is a proportion of those economically inactive, except total, which is a proportion of those aged 16-64
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
Soc 2020 major group 1-3 376,100 42.1 17,308,100 52.6
1 Managers, directors and senior officials 63,400 7.0 3,518,900 10.7
2 Professional occupations 215,400 23.9 8,831,000 26.8
3 Associate professional occupations 97,300 10.8 4,958,200 15.0
Soc 2020 major group 4-5 215,100 24.1 6,059,500 18.4
4 Administrative & secretarial 108,300 12.0 3,158,600 9.6
5 Skilled trades occupations 106,900 11.9 2,900,900 8.8
Soc 2020 major group 6-7 163,700 18.3 4,707,900 14.3
6 Caring, leisure and other service occupations 92,600 10.3 2,645,900 8.0
7 Sales and customer service occs 71,100 7.9 2,061,900 6.3
Soc 2020 major group 8-9 139,200 15.6 4,802,500 14.6
8 Process plant & machine operatives 55,400 6.1 1,771,500 5.4
9 Elementary occupations 83,800 9.3 3,031,000 9.2
Source: ONS annual population survey
Notes:   level and % are for those aged 16+
  % is a proportion of all persons in employment
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
Individual levels
RQF4 and above 458,500 39.7 19,134,600 47.1
RQF3 265,300 23.0 8,386,600 20.6
RQF2 231,300 20.0 7,612,400 18.7
RQF1 17,400 1.5 986,000 2.4
Other qualifications 39,600 3.4 1,840,000 4.5
No qualifications 142,400 12.3 2,697,900 6.6
Composite levels
RQF4 and above 458,500 39.7 19,134,600 47.1
RQF3 and above 723,900 62.7 27,521,200 67.7
RQF2 and above 955,200 82.7 35,133,600 86.4
RQF1 and above 972,600 84.2 36,119,500 88.8
Source: ONS annual population survey
Notes:   For an explanation of the qualification levels see the definitions section.
  level and % are for those aged 16-64
  % is a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64
  Northern Ireland
(pounds)
United Kingdom
(pounds)
Gross weekly pay
Full-time workers 643.3 681.7
Male full-time workers 666.9 725.0
Female full-time workers 624.0 628.9
Hourly pay - excluding overtime
Full-time workers 16.11 17.40
Male full-time workers 15.96 18.02
Female full-time workers 16.39 16.64
Source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings - resident analysis
Note:   Median earnings in pounds for employees living in the area.

Out-Of-Work Benefits

Under Universal Credit a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance. As Universal Credit Full Service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the Claimant Count is therefore likely to rise. The seasonally adjusted estimates in this table are consistent with the headline JSA measure.

  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
All people 37,424 3.8 1,628,625 4.3
Males 21,384 4.2 921,649 4.7
Females 16,040 3.4 706,976 3.8
Source: ONS Claimant Count - seasonally adjusted
Note:   % is a proportion of claimants + workforce jobs total

The estimates in the table below are not consistent with the headline claimant measure. However, they are consitent with the local area figures.

  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
All people 36,940 3.8 1,629,190 4.3
Males 21,230 4.2 927,475 4.7
Females 15,715 3.3 701,715 3.8
Source: ONS Claimant count by sex and age
Note:   % is a proportion of claimants + workforce jobs total
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
Aged 16+ 36,940 3.1 1,629,190 3.9
Aged 16 to 17 60 0.1 3,080 0.2
Aged 18 to 24 5,615 3.7 280,115 5.1
Aged 18 to 21 3,125 3.7 159,895 5.2
Aged 25 to 49 21,365 3.5 972,610 4.4
Aged 50+ 9,185 2.5 372,650 2.8
Source: ONS Claimant count by sex and age
Note:   % is number of persons claiming JSA as a proportion of resident population of the same age
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
Great Britain
(level)
Great Britain
(%)
Total claimants - - 4,448,890 11.0
By statistical group
Job seekers - - 460,480 1.1
ESA and incapacity benefits - - 2,446,000 6.1
Lone parents - - 401,630 1.0
Carers - - 685,670 1.7
Others on income related benefits - - 72,310 0.2
Disabled - - 312,240 0.8
Bereaved - - 70,560 0.2
Main out-of-work benefits† - - 3,380,420 8.4
Source: DWP benefit claimants - working age client group
Notes:   †   Main out-of-work benefits includes the groups: job seekers, ESA and incapacity benefits, lone parents and others on income related benefits. See the Definitions and Explanations below for details
  % is a proportion of resident population of area aged 16-64
  Northern Ireland and United Kingdom figures are not available for this dataset

Labour Demand

  Northern Ireland
(jobs)
Northern Ireland
(density)
United Kingdom
(jobs)
United Kingdom
(density)
Jobs density 935,000 0.79 36,506,000 0.87
Source: ONS jobs density
Notes:   The density figures represent the ratio of total jobs to population aged 16-64.
  Total jobs includes employees, self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces
  Northern Ireland
(level)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(level)
United Kingdom
(%)
Total 940,000 - 37,162,000 -
A : Agriculture, forestry and fishing 29,000 3.1 406,000 1.1
B : Mining and quarrying 2,000 0.2 51,000 0.1
C : Manufacturing 95,000 10.1 2,586,000 7.0
D : Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning 2,000 0.2 121,000 0.3
E : Water supply; sewerage, waste management 8,000 0.9 268,000 0.7
F : Construction 56,000 6.0 2,222,000 6.0
G : Wholesale and retail trade; repair of vehicles 140,000 14.9 4,745,000 12.8
H : Transportation and storage 36,000 3.8 1,949,000 5.2
I : Accommodation and food service activities 58,000 6.2 2,794,000 7.5
J : Information and communication 30,000 3.2 1,664,000 4.5
K : Financial and insurance activities 20,000 2.1 1,171,000 3.2
L : Real estate activities 13,000 1.4 710,000 1.9
M : Professional, scientific and technical activities 55,000 5.9 3,461,000 9.3
N : Administrative and support service activities 57,000 6.1 3,044,000 8.2
O : Public administration and defence 54,000 5.7 1,707,000 4.6
P : Education 87,000 9.3 3,055,000 8.2
Q : Human health and social work activities 152,000 16.2 5,005,000 13.5
R : Arts, entertainment and recreation 21,000 2.2 1,107,000 3.0
S : Other service activities 22,000 2.3 1,025,000 2.8
T : Activities of households as employers;... 0 0.0 71,000 0.2
Source: ONS workforce jobs by industry (SIC 2007) - seasonally adjusted
Notes:   % is a proportion of is proportion of total workforce jobs
  Northern Ireland
(pounds)
United Kingdom
(pounds)
Gross weekly pay
Full-time workers 641.2 681.7
Male full-time workers 662.4 725.0
Female full-time workers 624.5 628.9
Hourly pay
Full-time workers 16.01 17.40
Male full-time workers 15.84 18.02
Female full-time workers 16.40 16.64
Source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings - workplace analysis
Note:   Median earnings in pounds for employees working in the area.

Businesses

  Northern Ireland
(numbers)
Northern Ireland
(%)
United Kingdom
(numbers)
United Kingdom
(%)
Enterprises
Micro (0 to 9) 69,955 89.5 2,428,885 89.1
Small (10 to 49) 6,825 8.7 244,240 9.0
Medium (50 to 249) 1,150 1.5 42,795 1.6
Large (250+) 240 0.3 10,910 0.4
Total 78,170 - 2,726,830 -
Local Units
Micro (0 to 9) 79,150 84.6 2,597,490 84.3
Small (10 to 49) 11,860 12.7 391,980 12.7
Medium (50 to 249) 2,270 2.4 80,410 2.6
Large (250+) 305 0.3 12,245 0.4
Total 93,590 - 3,082,125 -
Source: Inter Departmental Business Register (ONS)
Note:   % is as a proportion of total (enterprises or local units)

Definitions and Explanations

Resident Population
The estimated population of an area includes all those usually resident in the area, whatever their nationality. HM Forces stationed outside the United Kingdom are excluded but foreign forces stationed here are included. Students are taken to be resident at their term-time address.
Labour Supply

Labour supply consists of people who are employed, as well as those people defined as unemployed or economically inactive, who can be considered to be potential labour supply. Information in this section relates to the characteristics of people living in an area.

Most labour supply data comes from the Annual Population Survey (APS). The APS is the largest regular household survey in the United Kingdom. It includes data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), plus further sample boosts in England, Wales and Scotland. The survey includes data from a sample of around 256,000 people aged 16 and over.

As APS estimates are based on samples, they are subject to sampling variability. This means that if another sample for the same period were drawn, a different estimate might be produced. In general, the larger the number of people in a sample, the smaller the variation between estimates. Estimates for smaller areas such as local authorities are therefore less reliable than those for larger areas such as regions. When the sample size is too small to produce reliable estimates, the estimates are replaced with a #.

Economically Active
Economically active
People who are either in employment or unemployed.
Economic activity rate
People, who are economically active, expressed as a percentage of all people.
In employment
People who did some paid work in the reference week (whether as an employee or self employed); those who had a job that they were temporarily away from (eg, on holiday); those on government-supported training and employment programmes; and those doing unpaid family work.
Employment rate
The number of people in employment expressed as a percentage of all people aged 16-64.
Employees and self employed
The division between employees and self employed is based on survey respondents' own assessment of their employment status. The percentage show the number in each category as a percentage of all people aged 16-64. The sum of employees and self employed will not equal the in employment figure due to the inclusion of those on government-supported training and employment programmes, and those doing unpaid family work in the latter.
Unemployed
Refers to people without a job who were available to start work in the two weeks following their interview and who had either looked for work in the four weeks prior to interview or were waiting to start a job they had already obtained.
Unemployment rate
Unemployed as a percentage of the economically active population.
Economically inactive
Economically inactive
People who are neither in employment nor unemployed. This group includes, for example, all those who were looking after a home or retired.
Wanting a job
People not in employment who want a job but are not classed as unemployed because they have either not sought work in the last four weeks or are not available to start work.
Not wanting a job
People who are neither in employment nor unemployed and who do not want a job.
Workless Households
Households
A household is defined as a single person, or a group of people living at the same address who have the address as their only or main residence and either share one main meal a day or share living accommodation (or both). For the purposes of this table, estimates only include those households where at least 1 person is aged 16 to 64.
Workless households
Households where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment. These members may be unemployed or economically inactive. Economically inactive members may be unavailable to work because of family commitments, retirement or study, or unable to work through sickness or disability.
Children
Children refers to all children under 16.
Occupation
Occupations are classified according to the Standard Occupation Classification 2010. Descriptions of the job titles included in each code are available in the SOC manuals.
Qualifications

Qualifications data are only be available from the APS for calendar year periods, for example, Jan to Dec 2005. The variables show the total number of people who are qualified at a particular level and above, so data in this table are not additive. Separate figures for each NVQ level are available in the full Annual Population Survey data set (Query data).

The trade apprenticeships are split 50/50 between NVQ level 2 and 3. This follows ONS policy for presenting qualifications data in publications. Separate counts for trade apprenticeships can be obtained from the full APS data set (Query data).

No qualifications
No formal qualifications held.
Other qualifications
includes foreign qualifications and some professional qualifications.
NVQ 1 equivalent
e.g. fewer than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C, foundation GNVQ, NVQ 1, intermediate 1 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 2 equivalent
e.g. 5 or more GCSEs at grades A-C, intermediate GNVQ, NVQ 2, intermediate 2 national qualification (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 3 equivalent
e.g. 2 or more A levels, advanced GNVQ, NVQ 3, 2 or more higher or advanced higher national qualifications (Scotland) or equivalent.
NVQ 4 equivalent and above
e.g. HND, Degree and Higher Degree level qualifications or equivalent.
Earnings by Place of Residence

The figures show the median earnings in pounds for employees living in the area who are on adults rates of pay and whose pay was not affected by absence. Figures for earnings come from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The ASHE is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees, information on whose earnings and hours is obtained from employers. The survey does not cover self-employed. Information relates to a pay period in April.

The earnings information collected relates to gross pay before tax, national insurance or other deductions, and excludes payments in kind. It is restricted to earnings relating to the survey pay period and so excludes payments of arrears from another period made during the survey period; any payments due as a result of a pay settlement but not yet paid at the time of the survey will also be excluded.

Out-Of-Work Benefits
Claimant Count (Experimental Statistics)

The Claimant Count is the number of people claiming benefit principally for the reason of being unemployed. This is measured by combining the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and National Insurance credits with the number of people receiving Universal Credit principally for the reason of being unemployed. Claimants declare that they are out of work, capable of, available for and actively seeking work during the week in which the claim is made.

The measure of the number of people receiving Universal Credit principally for the reason of being unemployed is still being developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. Consequently this component of the total Claimant Count does not yet correctly reflect the target population of unemployed claimants and is subject to revisions. For this reason the Claimant Count is currently designated as Experimental Statistics.

The Claimant Count is mostly derived from DWP administrative systems. For various reasons, e.g. a claimant's National Insurance number is not known, a small number of claims have to be dealt with manually. These clerical claims do not have as much detail as the computerised claims and therefore, whilst part of the claimant count by sex table, cannot be included the age breakdown.

Seasonal Adjustment

Like many economic indicators, the labour market is affected by factors that tend to occur at around the same time every year; for example, school leavers entering the labour market in July and whether Easter falls in March or April. In order to aid comparison of movements, other than annual changes in labour market statistics, some headline measures are seasonally adjusted to remove the effects of seasonal factors and the arrangement of the calendar. However, due to resource constraints, it is not possible to seasonally adjust all series. So for those that have not been seasonally adjusted, the figures will still be influenced by seasonal effects.

Rates by age

Unemployment benefits normally only apply to people aged 18 years and over. They can only be claimed by 16 and 17 year olds in exceptional circumstances. Consequently the counts for this age group are typically very low.

DWP Working-Age Client Group

From August 2017 DWP discontinued this dataset when they changed the way they publish their benefit statistics. The last period of data is the November 2016 figures published in May 2017.

The number of working-age people who are claiming one or more main DWP benefits. The main benefits are: bereavement benefit, carer's allowance, disability living allowance, ESA and incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance, income support, jobseeker's allowance, and widow's benefit. The age at which women reach State Pension age is gradually increasing from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and April 2020. Throughout this period, only women below State Pension age are counted as working age benefit claimants."

The total count is broken down by statistical groups. These categorise each person according to the main reason why they are claiming benefit. Each client is classified to a single group.

Benefits are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to a group according to the top most benefit they receive. Thus a person who is a lone parent and receives Incapacity Benefit would be classified as incapacity benefits. Consequently, the group lone parent will not contain all lone parents as some will be included in the incapacity benefits group and Job seekers groups.

Main out-of-work benefits consists of the groups: job seekers, ESA and incapacity benefits, lone parents and others on income related benefits.

These groups have been chosen to best represent a count of all those benefit recipients who cannot be in full-time employment as part of their condition of entitlement. Those claiming solely Bereavement Benefits or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are not included as these are not out-of-work or income based benefits. DLA is paid to those needing help with personal care. These people can, and some will, be in full-time employment. If DLA claimants are also in receipt of JSA, IS, ESA or Incapacity Benefits in addition to DLA they will be counted under the relevant statistical group. In addition, we exclude those claiming solely carer's benefits or claiming carer's benefits alongside income support, as DWP does not pursue active labour market policies for this group. Carers benefits are paid to those with full time caring responsibilities. The group entitled to Carer's benefits alongside Income Support (IS) includes around 86,000 claimants and has been stable over time.

This Nomis series is different to that published in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Statistics Bulletin (table 25) and on the DWP website at http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/100pc/wa/tabtool_wa.html (against the link entitled "One-Click" Key Out-of-Work Benefits). This Nomis series uses DWP Jobseeker's Allowance numbers, whilst the other two series use the ONS Jobseeker's Allowance figures, using different methods and reference periods.

UK Business Counts

The data contained in the table are compiled from an extract taken from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) recording the position of units as at March of the reference year. The IDBR contains information on VAT traders and PAYE employers in a statistical register which provides the basis for the Office for National Statistics to conduct surveys of businesses.

The table presents analysis of businesses at both Enterprise and Local Unit level. An Enterprise is the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT and/or PAYE records) which has a certain degree of autonomy within an Enterprise Group. An individual site (for example a factory or shop) in an enterprise is called a local unit.

The employment information on the IDBR is drawn mainly from the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES). Because this is based on a sample of enterprises, estimates from previous returns and from other ONS surveys have also been used. For the smallest units, either PAYE jobs or employment imputed from VAT turnover is used.

Estimates in the table are rounded to prevent disclosure.

Labour Demand

Labour demand includes jobs available within the area.

Jobs Density

The level of jobs per resident aged 16-64. For example, a job density of 1.0 would mean that there is one job for every resident aged 16-64.

The total number of jobs is a workplace-based measure and comprises employee jobs, self-employed, government-supported trainees and HM Forces. The number of residents aged 16-64 figures used to calculate jobs densities are based on the relevant mid-year population estimates.

Workforce Jobs (WFJ)

Workforce Jobs (WFJ) is a quarterly measure of the number of jobs in the UK and is the preferred measure of the change in jobs by industry. Estimates are only available at national and regional level.

It is a compound source that draws on a range of employer surveys, household surveys and administrative sources. WFJ is the sum of employee jobs measured primarily by employer surveys, self-employment jobs from the Labour Force Survey, and government-supported trainees and Her Majesty's Forces from administrative sources.

The industry codes used in the table are Standard Industrial Classification 2007 Sections. Refer to the SIC 2007 manuals for details of the activities included in each Section.

Earnings by Place of Work

The figures show the median earnings in pounds for employees working in the area who are on adults rates of pay and whose pay was not affected by absence. Figures for earnings come from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The ASHE is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees, information on whose earnings and hours is obtained from employers. The survey does not cover self-employed. In 2004 information related to the pay period which included 21 April.

The earnings information collected relates to gross pay before tax, national insurance or other deductions, and excludes payments in kind. It is restricted to earnings relating to the survey pay period and so excludes payments of arrears from another period made during the survey period; any payments due as a result of a pay settlement but not yet paid at the time of the survey will also be excluded.

Jobcentre plus vacancies

The figures in the tables are based on the number of live unfilled vacancies handled by Jobcentre Plus. These are vacancies actively available to jobseekers on the count date and are derived as a by-product of administrative systems. Users should be aware of the following points when using and interpreting the series:

  • Coverage relates just to vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus and as such represent a market share of vacancies throughout the whole economy. This proportion varies over time, according to the occupation of the vacancy and industry of the employer, and by local area.

  • The time-series is susceptible to discontinuities arising from changes to vacancy taking and vacancy handling (e.g. 2006 changes to employer follow-up processes).

  • Local area data can throw up spurious figures. For example, Lincoln local authority includes all national vacancies notified by the Ministry of Defence since these are recorded against a single central postcode irrespective of actual location.

For further details see: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/406.aspx

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Source: Office for National Statistics

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