Number of women at work in Northern Ireland hits record high

North’s jobless rate continues to remain historically low and is well below UK average

Belfast. In the three months to May, the number of people with a job in the North grew to a record 852,000. Photograph: Leonid Andronov

Belfast. In the three months to May, the number of people with a job in the North grew to a record 852,000. Photograph: Leonid Andronov

 

The number of women in the workplace in the North has hit a record high, according to new government figures. Latest statistics show the number of women with jobs in Northern Ireland has reached a record 413,000.

According to the latest labour force survey published on Tuesday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the total number of people in work – whether male or female – in the North has also never been higher.

In the three months to May the North’s employment rate jumped to 69.8 per cent, which meant the number of people with a job grew to a record 852,000.

According to Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank’s chief economist in Northern Ireland, the number of women in the workplace increased by 21,000 over the 12 months to May 2018. He said this 5.4 per cent rise was more than three times the annual increase recorded for men.

“Strong growth was evident across all the main categories of female employment, with full-time work expanding at almost twice the rate of part-time employment,” he added.

Meanwhile, the latest labour force survey also shows that the North’s jobless rate continues to remain historically low.

In the last quarter it remained unchanged at 3.5 per cent, which is the fourth-lowest rate on record in Northern Ireland and well below the average UK rate for the three months to May of 4.2 per cent.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency has estimated that the total number of people without a job in the North was 31,000 in the last quarter.