Northern Ireland Unemployment Rate Falls To Lowest Ever Level

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

Northern Ireland was the best performing home nation with an unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent. The rate was below the United Kingdom average of 4.2% and the lowest of all the UK's regions.

"In contrast to the NI experience, the United Kingdom results also show the lowest inactivity rates on record".

Overall, the employment rate is now 69.7%. Crucially though it remains the lowest out of all United Kingdom regions.

The number of females unemployed more than halved over the last year with the unemployment rate plumbing a fresh record low of 1.8 per cent in the first three months of the year, while employment hit a record high of 67.1 per cent.

However, of Northern Ireland's unemployed people, 51% had been unemployed for a year or more, compared to the overall United Kingdom rate of 25.3%.

The labour market statistics also show contrasting performances in relation to gender, with females driving the improvement in the figures.

The economic inactivity rate decreased over the quarter but increased over the year.

GETTYUnemployment figures throughout the UK fell by a total of 47,000 people

Although one of the highest rates recorded since 2010 and the highest rate of the United Kingdom regions, the current inactivity rate is significantly below peak rates recorded in mid-2009.

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said the record low in joblessness masked other problems.

He added: "As always, headline labour market data give us a snapshot of the health of the labour market, but growth remains weak in the Scottish economy, and the latest productivity data released last week showed that labour productivity fell 1.9 per cent in real terms in 2017".

Across the United Kingdom employment increased by 197,000 to 32.3 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971.

In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the unemployment rate in Northern Ireland peaked at 8.2%.

"While it is welcome that economic inactivity has decreased over the quarter, significant action is required to address the issue".

The number of people in employment also fell slightly by 2,000 to 2.63 million.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article