Northern Ireland

Number of jobs in Northern Ireland at record high

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Image caption There are now 19,700 fewer public sector jobs compared to the peak in September 2009

The number of employee jobs in Northern Ireland reached a new record high of 778,240 in March, official figures suggest.

That represents growth of 2% - or 15,580 jobs - compared to March 2018.

Most of the growth came from the services sector, which grew over the year by 1.9% or 11,930 jobs.

The private sector in total added more than 13,000 jobs over the year, an increase of 2.4%, to a record high of 569,460.

Annual jobs growth in the public sector was 1% or 2,040 jobs to 208,480.

There are now 19,700 fewer public sector jobs compared to the peak in September 2009.

Three sectors dominate

The figures come from the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), which surveys about 6,000 companies.

The survey covers all employers with 25 or more employees and all public sector employers.

Over the past year almost a third of additional jobs have come in three sectors: healthcare, wholesaling and IT.

The number of both full and part-time jobs increased over the year; full time jobs accounted for 69% of the annual increases.

Meanwhile other labour market figures suggest that in the past quarter the unemployment rate in Northern Ireland remained close to a record low at 3.1%.

The employment rate, the percentage of working age adults in employment, was at a joint record high 71.3%.

The economic inactivity rate remains the highest of any UK region at 26.4%.

Economic inactivity refers to people of working age who are neither in work or looking for a job.

The rate in Northern Ireland is persistently above the UK average.

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