Business Register and Employment Survey 2021
Business Register and Employment Survey Statistics 2021 were released today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA).
Results of the 2019 Northern Ireland annual business survey of local units.
- The latest statistics from the Northern Ireland Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) were released by NISRA at 9.30am this morning. Data is as of 6 September 2021. Equivalent figures for the whole UK will be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 29 September 2022.
- BRES is an annual statutory survey of companies requesting information about working owners, employee jobs and business activities. NISRA thanks the companies for their participation in the survey. Business survey data has a number of uses. Most recently, during the pandemic, they provided information on the development, implementation and evaluation of COVID-related support programs for companies.
- BRES counts the number of jobs and not the number of people with a job. This double counts a person with one full-time job and one part-time job, or someone with two part-time jobs. Key facts from the bulletin are listed below.
Total employment in Northern Ireland in September 2021 was 823,672
- Total employment in Northern Ireland in September 2021 was 823,672. Employment includes employees plus the number of working owners who receive subscriptions and/or profit sharing but are not paid through pay-as-you-earn (PAYE). The largest proportion of working owners were in construction (6,112 or 14% of total construction employment).
Headcount increased 1.7% over the year to September 2021
- BRES 2021 reported that the total number of employed jobs in Northern Ireland was 792,626 in September 2021. This represents an increase in jobs of 13,573 (1.7%) compared to September 2020 and 6,756 (0.9%) compared to 2019.
The number of employee jobs increased in all 4 main industries: construction, manufacturing, services and other
- The service sector dominated white collar jobs in Northern Ireland, accounting for 81% (644,469) of the total. The second largest industry was manufacturing with 86,703 jobs (11%) and together they accounted for over 9 in 10 jobs (92%) in Northern Ireland.
- The number of employee positions increased during the year to September 2021 in all four main industries. The increase in headcount was due to growth in the service sector (11,738 jobs), which accounted for 86% of the total increase.
- Both construction and manufacturing grew over the year to September 2021 with an additional 289 (0.8%) jobs in construction and 1,312 (1.5%) jobs in manufacturing. However, growth in construction (3.1%) was slower than a year earlier and manufacturing (0.7%) remained below 2019 levels.
Employee jobs increased in both the public and private sectors
- BRES 2021 estimated the number of private sector jobs at 578,413, an increase of 2.2% (12,363) over the year. The number of public sector posts was 214,213, up 0.6% (1,210) over the same period.
- The public sector accounts for 27% of white collar jobs in NI. In the UK as a whole it is 18%.
Employment increased in all county council areas in Northern Ireland with the exception of Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid and East Antrim.
- All county council areas in Northern Ireland saw increases in employment, with the exception of Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid and East Antrim, which saw a fall of 2.2% and 1.7% over the year. Belfast saw the largest increase in employment (6,345 or 2.8%), while Lisburn and Castlereagh saw the largest percentage increase in employment at 3.7% (or 2,212 jobs).
- Staff turnover at the county council area level has been driven primarily by increases in the service industry. This was particularly true for Belfast (6,983) and Lisburn and Castlereagh (1,630).
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon saw the largest increases in construction jobs over the year (15% or 592), while Derry City and Strabane saw construction jobs fall (14% or 431).
- Mid Ulster saw the largest increase in manufacturing jobs over the year (4.8% or 781). Of the 11 Borough Council areas, 3 recorded a decline in manufacturing jobs: Belfast (6.1% or 568); Derry City and Strabane (3.2% or 192); and Mid and East Antrim (6.0% or 408).
The total number of jobs in Northern Ireland was 0.9% higher than in 2019
- The number of employed jobs in Northern Ireland increased over the year to September 2021 (1.7%) following a fall in the previous year (0.9%). Employee job estimates for 2021 were 0.9% (6,756) higher than the 2019 estimate.
- Service sector employee jobs grew over the year to September 2021, recouping losses sustained during the pandemic. Services jobs were up 0.8% (5,315) from 2019 levels. However, manufacturing grew over the year to September 2021 (1,312 or 1.5%) and remained lower than 2019 (646 or 0.7 %). The number of jobs in the construction sector continued to increase and was 3.9% (1,382) higher than the 2019 estimate.
- Antrim and Newtownabbey posted a 2-year decline, with jobs in that county council area estimated to be 4.9% below 2019 levels, reflecting losses in the service sector. Jobs in Derry City and Strabane and Mid and East Antrim remained below 2019 levels (2.0% and 2.8% respectively), reflecting continued declines in manufacturing and service sector losses in those areas.
Notes for editors:
- The statistical bulletin and associated tables are available on the NISRA website
- The Statistics and Research Agency of Northern Ireland would like to thank the companies that have responded to the Business Registers and Employment Survey (BRES).
- The latest statistics from the Northern Ireland Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) were released by NISRA at 9.30am this morning. This data was collected on September 6, 2021. Equivalent figures for the UK as a whole will be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 29 September 2022.
- BRES is an annual survey of companies requesting information on the number of jobs and the business activities of their employees. In 2021 approximately 34,000 businesses (approximately 44% of all VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses in Northern Ireland) were surveyed and an effective response rate of 72% was achieved. The sample size in 2021 makes it possible to break down employee jobs to smaller geographic levels and to lower industry levels.
- BRES counts the number of jobs and not the number of people with a job. This double counts a person with one full-time job and one part-time job, or someone with two part-time jobs. Estimates of staff employment in Northern Ireland broken down by gender and work pattern are presented in the Bulletin.
- The BRES data are disaggregated at a geographic level south of Northern Ireland. The geographic information is largely based on the location of jobs at the local unit level. Companies often move employee jobs from one area to another. This leads to changes in the number of employee positions at the geographical level. The relocation or modification of reporting procedures by large employers may therefore impact the BRES Part NI analysis when making year-on-year comparisons.
- The BRES report is of interest to policy makers, public bodies, the business community, banks, economic commentators, academics and the general public interested in the local economy.
- For media inquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at [email protected]
- Feedback is welcome and should be addressed to:
Economic and Labor Market Statistics (ELMS),
[email protected] or Tel: 028 90529437
10. To keep up to date with news from the department, you can follow us on the following social media channels:
Twitter – @Economy_NI
Facebook – @EconomyNI
Skills to Success Facebook
Instagram – economy_ni
LinkedIn – Department of Economics NI
11. The Executive Information Service operates an after-hours service for media inquiries only Monday to Friday between 18:00 and 08:00 and on weekends and public holidays. The press officer on duty can be reached on 028 9037 8110.
Share this page