Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's employment rate rises to record high

Businesswoman in factory Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In the second quarter of 2019, NI's employment rate increased by 1.7% on the same period last year

Northern Ireland's employment rate has risen to a record high of 71.7%.

The data measures the percentage of working-age adults who are employed.

In the period March to May 2019, the rate increased by 1.7 percentage points compared to the same period in 2018.

During the recession, the employment rate reached a low of 64%. Despite the latest increase, Northern Ireland's employment rate is still below the average UK rate of 76%.

Economic inactivity in Northern Ireland also decreased over the quarter and the year to one of the lowest rates on record - 25.9%.

It is a measurement of those people who are not in work and not looking for work - that includes students, retired people and sick or disabled people.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) said the falling inactivity rate since 2017 suggests that some people have been re-entering the labour market.

"Decreases in economic inactivity since late 2017 indicate that changes in labour market status have not been limited to those working or looking for work, but also for those who were previously outside the labour force," its statement said.

Meanwhile wage growth in the UK rose to 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

However, adjusting for inflation, wages held steady compared with last month.

There is no specific monthly data on wages for Northern Ireland.

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