Business news

DWF comments on latest NI labour market figures

Posted By:
DWF (Northern Ireland) LLP

11th Jun 2024

Rachel Richardson, employment expert and Director at DWF, the global provider of integrated legal and business services, has commented on the latest Labour Market Report, released this week by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Rachel said: “The latest labour market figures from Northern Ireland demonstrate continued resilience against a difficult economic climate.  The figures show that over the year both pay-rolled employee numbers and earnings have increased, while employee jobs have increased to a new series high.  Further, key indicators of employment measures have improved over the year, with the unemployment and economic inactivity rates both decreasing and the employment rate increasing.

The number of employees receiving pay through HMRC PAYE in Northern Ireland in May 2024 was 801,800, which was unchanged over the month and an increase of 1.6% over the year.  Earnings from HMRC PAYE indicated employees had a median monthly pay of £2,217 in May 2024, an increase of £141 over the year.  The unemployment rate for the period February to April 2024 was estimated from the Labour Force Survey at 2.2%.  This was a decrease of 0.1% over the quarter.  The proportion of people in work was unchanged over the quarter at 71.3%.

We of course now have a date for the General Election and opinion polls are suggesting a change in government is likely.  Labour has pledged to introduce a raft of new and enhanced employment law protection for employees – including unfair dismissal as a day one right. We would of course have to wait and see what reforms the Northern Ireland Assembly decide should be implemented – if any.  In the meantime, employers may exercise a degree of caution when recruiting.”

Rachel Richardson

Employment Director at DWF

Rachel is a highly experienced employment lawyer and is dual qualified in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. She leads the employment team in Belfast and advises clients on a wide range of employment issues including TUPE matters, Service Agreements, contracts of employment and policies and procedures.