Last month, the number of employees in Northern Ireland reached a new high of 777,300, indicating that the employment market rebound following Covid-19 is taking root.
According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the number of employment paid through the PAYE system increased by 5.4 percent year on year and 0.5 percent in February (Nisra).
Employee numbers were up 3.3 percent from March 2020, marking the ninth month in a row that they were higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Overall employment levels, including self-employed people, as well as total hours worked, have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to Nisra.
HMRC PAYE statistics also revealed that, at £1,904 per month, workers’ median monthly income had declined by £35 over the month, but was up £113 over the year.
Separate figures from the labor force survey indicated that unemployment and employment rates remained stable from November to January, at 2.7 percent and 70.4 percent, respectively.
The rate of economic inactivity – defined as individuals who are neither working nor seeking for job – remained stable at 27.5 percent.
The number of people receiving unemployment benefits was 39,600, or 4% of the workforce, down 900 from January’s revised total.
It was also 38% lower than the pre-pandemic total of March 2020, but 30% higher than the pandemic era peak of May 2020.
In February, 40 individuals were laid off, bringing the total number of verified layoffs for the year to 2,070, a reduction of 64% from the previous year.
In February, 210 people were nominated for layoffs, for a total of 2,040 in the year to February, an 81 percent decrease from the previous year.
In December, a separate measure of employee jobs – which is less up to date than the HMRC PAYE statistics – reached a new record of 782,450, up 12,290 jobs year on year and 2,850 jobs quarter on quarter.
The number of jobs in the services industry reached a new high in December, with 636,290. In the three months leading up to December, the sector created almost 2,000 new positions, including 900 construction jobs.
However, in the quarter ending in December 2021, there were 290 fewer manufacturing employment.
In the year to December, both the private and public sectors added jobs, with the private sector adding 563,940 positions and the public sector adding 217,790.
For November to January, the number of weekly hours worked was anticipated to be 26.9 million, down 3.2 percent from the previous quarter.