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Sources of Labour Market Information for NI

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					    Sources of Labour Market
Information for Northern Ireland



      Commissioned by: Office of
      Manpower Economics




    Undertaken by: Jessica Bennett,
    Economic Research Institute of
       Northern Ireland (ERINI)




                                                    July 2007


The work described in this report was carried out under contract as
part of OME’s research programme. The views and judgements
expressed in this report are therefore those of the contractor and do
not necessarily reflect those of OME.
Sources of Labour Market Information for
               Northern Ireland




                     Jessica Bennett
     Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland
                        July 2007
Contents


                                                                 Page
1.0 Abbreviations …………………………………………………………………. iii


2.0 Introduction …………………………………………………………………… vii


3.0 Main Sources of Labour Market Data for Northern Ireland:
       3.1 Labour Force Survey …………………………………………………... 1
       3.2 Census of Employment…………………………………………………. 10
       3.3 Quarterly Employment Survey…………………………………………. 16
       3.4 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings…………………………………. 21
       3.5 Northern Ireland Claimant Count………………………………………. 27
       3.6 Redundancies…………………………………………………………… 32
       3.7 Vacancies ………………………………………………………………. 35
       3.8 Fair Employment Monitoring Returns………………………………….. 36
       3.9 Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry……………………………… 41
       3.10 Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey…………………………...... 46
       3.11 Continuous Household Survey………………………………………… 53
       3.12 Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study………………………………….. 58
       3.13 Labour Costs Survey……………………………………………………64


4.0 Other Surveys with Limited Employment Information:
       4.1 Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey……………………………………….66
       4.2 Census of Population……………………………………………………..70
       4.3 Survey of Personal Incomes…………………………………………….. 73
       4.4 Inter-Departmental Business Register……………………………………76
       4.5 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey…………………………………79


5.0 Sector Specific Data:
       5.1 NIHPSS Workforce Census……………………………………………. .83




                                     i
                                                                              Page


      5.2 Workforce Statistics relating to Staff Employed within the Primary Care
           Sector…………………………………………………………………... 84
      5.3 Teacher Numbers……………………………………………………….. 85


6.0 Migrant Labour Statistics:
      6.1 Home Office Worker Registration Scheme…………………………….. 87
      6.2 New National Insurance Number Registrations………………………… 90
      6.3 Home Office Work Permits……………………………………………... 92
      6.4 Survey of Migrant Jobseekers Calling in DEL Offices…………………. 94


7.0 Labour Market Forecasts:
      7.1 Oxford Economic Forecasting ………………………………………….. 96
             7.1.1 The UK Regional Model……………………………………… 96
             7.1.2 Northern Ireland Economy Monitoring and Forecasting – The
             New Northern Ireland Policy Simulation (NIPS) Model…………….97
             7.1.3 Local Model of Administrative Districts (LOMAD)…………..98
             7.1.4 Occupational Forecasts and Replacement Demand in Northern
             Ireland………………………………………………………………..99
      7.2 The Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER)……………… 100
      7.3 Cambridge Econometrics……………………………………………….101
      7.4 Experian Business Strategies……………………………………………102


8.0 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….. 104


9.0 References ……………………………………………………………………. 105




                                        ii
1.0      Abbreviations


ABI      Annual Business Inquiry
ACOC     Annual Census of Construction
ACOP     Annual Census of Production
ASHE     Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
BHPS     British Household Panel Survey
BSA      British Social Attitudes
CAI      Computer Assisted Interviewing
CAPI     Computer Aided Personal Interviewing
CE       Cambridge Econometrics
CHS      Continuous Household Survey
CMS      Client Management System
CONI     Census Office for Northern Ireland
CoE      Census of Employment
CoP      Census of Population
CSA      Central Services Agency
CSU      Central Survey Unit
DARD     Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
DE       Department of Education
DEL      Department for Employment and Learning
DETI     Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
DFP      Department of Finance and Personnel
DHSSPS   Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
DMB      Demography & Methodology Branch
DSD      Department for Social Development
DWP      Department for Work and Pensions
EC       European Community
ECNI     Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
EDF      Economic Development Forum
EEA      European Economic Area
ELCS     European Labour Costs Survey
ESRC     Economics and Social Research Council



                             iii
EU     European Union
FEC    Fair Employment Commission
FPS    Family and Practitioner Services
FTE    Full-time Equivalents
GB     Great Britain
GHQ    General Health Questions
GHS    General Household Survey
GOR    Government Office Region
GRO    General Register Office
GVA    Gross Value Added
HMRC   HM Revenue & Customs
HPSS   Health and Personal Social Services
HRP    Household Reference Person
IDBR   Inter-Departmental Business Register
IDS    Incomes Data Services
IER    Institute for Employment Research
ILO    International Labour Organisation
ISER   Institute for Social and Economic Research
IT     Information Technology
JBO    Jobs and Benefits Office
JC     Job Centre
JSA    Job Seekers Allowance
LFS    Labour Force Survey
LMB    Labour Market Bulletin
LPSA   Land and Property Services Agency
LS     Longitudinal Study
LSC    Learning and Skills Council
LTS    Life and Times Survey
LU     Local Unit
MDM    Multi-sectoral Dynamic Model
MLA    Member of the Legislative Assembly
NES    New Earnings Survey
NHS    National Health Service
NI     Northern Ireland


                            iv
NINIS    NI Neighbourhood Statistics Site
NIHPS    Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey
NILS     Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study
NINo     National Insurance Number
NIPS     Northern Ireland Prison Service
NISA     Northern Ireland Social Attitudes
NISRA    Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
OFMDFM   Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
ONS      Office for National Statistics
OSM      Original Sample Member
OS       Omnibus Survey
PAF      Postal Address File
PAYE     Pay as You Earn
PID      Permanent Identifier number
PSNI     Police Service of Northern Ireland
QES      Quarterly Employment Survey
QUB      Queens University Belfast
RAG      Research Approvals Group
RES      Research and Evaluation Services
RFL      Regional Forecasts Limited
RU       Reporting Unit
SA       Self-Assessment
SIC      Standard Industrial Classification
SOC      Standard Occupational Classification
SPI      Survey of Personal Incomes
SRB      Statistics Research Branch
SSA      Social Security Agency
SSDA     Sector Skills Development Agency
STES     Short-Term Employment Survey
TA       Territorial Army
TSM      Temporary Sample Member
USA      United States of America
UK       United Kingdom
UU       University of Ulster


                                v
VAT   Value Added Tax
VLA   Valuation and Lands Agency
WRS   Worker Registration Scheme




                        vi
2.0     Introduction


The Northern Ireland (NI) labour market has improved considerably in recent years.
According to the latest figures to be published, employment has yet again risen and is
now at a record high and the unemployment rate remains below the UK average and
compares favourably with the rest of Europe.        However, there are still a lot of
problems, including; low productivity and wages, the heavy dependence on the publi c
sector, skills gaps in the working age population, and the continuously high rates of
economic activity. Large scale immigration to NI is also changing the shape of the NI
labour market.


The ever changing labour market is thus complex and dynamic and both impacts on,
and is impacted by, not only the broader economy but a number of key areas such as
population and migration, education and training and social inclusion. As a result,
labour market statistics are amongst the most prominent official statistics produced.


Labour market statistics measure numerous aspects of the labour market, for example;
employment, unemployment, economic activity, economic inactivity, job vacancies,
skills, earnings, industrial disputes and productivity, and therefore provide a valuable
insight into the economy. Users include central and local government, economists,
financial analysts, academic researchers, trade unions, employer associations and
teachers etc.    Policymakers in particular, have a clear and extensive demand for
labour market data as governments need accurate and relevant information to make
decisions about society and the economy and help devise effective policies towards
population groups of particular concern, for example; women, young people, older
people, and workless households. Independent and up-to-date labour market data is
therefore vital for government bodies and associated researchers to enable the
analysis, evaluation and monitoring of current policies and to help inform the
development of new ones.


The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is the principal provider of labour market
information in the UK. Each month they produce a breakdown of employment,
unemployment, economic activity and vacancies for the eleven government office



                                          vii
regions (GORs) in England, Scotland and Wales. The Department of Enterprise,
Trade and Investment (DETI) publish comparable indicators for NI.


This report details the official sources of labour market data within NI and also
highlights the numerous other surveys which provide a further source of labour
market information both for NI as a whole and for specific sectors within NI.




                                         viii
3.0        Main Sources of Labour Market Data for Northern Ireland


This section of the report details the official sources of labour market data within NI. A
number of other data sources are also included as they also collect quite a substantial
amount of labour market information from each of the respondents.


3.1 Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Overview
The LFS is a quarterly survey and is the biggest regular household survey in NI with a
sample size of approximately 2,700 private households each quarter.                 Using
internationally agreed concepts and definitions, interviewees are asked about their
personal characteristics and work with the resultant data being a vital source of
information with a number of key labour market characteristics such as unemployment,
employment, self-employment, hours worked, and earnings. The main purpose of the
LFS is to provide internationally comparable statistics on the levels and changes in
employment, unemployment and economic activity.


Background to the LFS
Since its accession to the European Community (EC) in 1973, the UK is obliged, under
EC regulations to carry out the LFS. The survey was conducted for the first time in NI in
1973 and until 1983 it was carried out biennially in both NI and Great Britain (GB).
Following a change in the Regulation requirements, from 1984 until 1994 an annual
survey was conducted and the results referred to the spring months of each year. The
current quarterly LFS has been running in NI since December 1994 1. The EC introduced
a requirement in 1984 that all Member States must conduct an annual LFS.              New
regulations in 1998 stated that all countries should ideally provide LFS results to the
Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) every quarter. Eurostat then co-
ordinates information from all the LFS‟s carried out by member states in order to assist in
such matters as the allocation of Social Fund resources.

1
    The GB survey moved to a quarterly cycle in March 1992.


                                                    1
Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The sample of addresses for the LFS is obtained from the Valuation & Lands Agency 2
(VLA) list of domestic properties in NI 3. Each quarterly sample consists of five „waves‟
each containing 650 private households. Each quarter, these addresses are drawn from
the VLA list which is sorted by district council and ward, so the sample is effectively
stratified geographically. Unlike the LFS for GB which is based on a systematic random
sample design which makes it representative of the whole of GB, the NI sample is
boosted to a theoretical sample for each quarter consisting of approximately 3,250
addresses. However, due to the cumulative effect of refusals and ineligible addresses, the
number of 'active' addresses is approximately 2,700 each quarter.


The quarterly survey has been designed to give a reliable estimate of level for each
quarter, as well as change over consecutive quarters. This is achieved by using an un-
clustered sample with a large element of overlap between quarters.                     Every address
selected for the LFS is interviewed in five successive quarters so that in any one quarter,
one wave will be receiving their first interview, one wave their second and so on, with
one wave receiving their fifth and final interview. This results in an 80 per cent sample
overlap between quarters.


Given that the LFS is a sample survey, as we would expect, estimates obtained from it are
subject to sampling variability.


How is it produced?
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has overall responsibility
for ensuring the LFS is conducted in NI. However, responsibility for the day-to-day
running of the survey, which includes data collection and database creation, rests with the




2
  Now the Land & Property Services Agency (LPSA), an executive Agency within the Department of
Finance and Personnel (DFP)

3
 This is the most up-to-date listing of private households in NI and is available to the Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for research purposes.


                                                   2
Central Survey Unit (CSU) of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
(NISRA).


CSU are responsible for the creation of a Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI)
questionnaire (designed to mirror that used in GB), the sampling of addresses and the
carrying out of fieldwork using a team of specialist interviewers.          The first wave
interviews are carried out by a team of interviewers who call at each address and attempt
to obtain an interview; where possible, subsequent interviews are carried out by a panel
of telephone interviewers.

On completion of the fieldwork, DETI resume responsibility for the data and they carry
out all analysis and interpretation of the data. When the survey is complete, LFS sample
numbers are then “grossed up” to NI population levels. This means that each person
participating in the survey is assigned a “weight” or “grossing factor” in accordance with
that persons age and sex. Final grossed results then give the population total for NI and
reflect the distributions by sex and age shown by the population figures. The results of
the LFS are usually quoted to the nearest 1,000 following the grossing of sample numbers
to population levels.


Information contained within the LFS
At each address, questions are asked of every adult member of the household (aged 16
and over), with a few questions relating to each child in the household. Information is
collected on the age, sex, date of birth and marital status of each member of the
household, as well as their relationships to each other. Some household-level information
is also recorded for each address including, size, composition, tenure and car availability.

At the individual level, each person in the household answers questions about ethnic
origin and nationality as well as a wide range of questions relating to economic status and
activity during a specific week in the quarter (termed the reference week). Information is
gathered on the following:

      whether the respondent did any paid work in the reference week



                                             3
      occupation and industry details of main and second job
      employment status
      hours worked
      length of time in main job
      whether job is temporary or permanent
      whether job is full-time or part-time
      whether job is in the public or private sector
      method of travel to work
      length of unemployment
      whether respondent has looked for work in the last four weeks
      reason for not seeking work
      methods used to look for work
      type of employment sought
      reason the respondent left their last job
      qualifications
      current education or training
      benefits received
      earnings (for employees only and only asked at respondents first and last
       interviews)
      any health problems the respondent has which might limit the type or amount of
       paid work they might do.

LFS respondents (aged 16 and over) are then classified into two main categories:
persons who were economically active or, persons who were economically inactive in the
reference week of the survey.


The economically active comprise:
(a) People in Employment: This includes those persons aged 16 and over who did some
   paid work in the reference week (either as an employee or self-employed); those who
   had a job which they were temporarily away from (on holiday for example); those




                                               4
      participating in government training and employment programmes; and those doing
      unpaid family work 4.
(b) Unemployed Persons: Unemployment is measured using the International Labour
      Organisation (ILO) measure. This refers to people without a job who were available
      to start work in the two weeks following their LFS interview and had either looked
      for work in the four weeks prior to interview or were waiting to start a job they had
      already obtained. This definition of unemployment is in accordance with that adopted
      by the 14th International Conference of Labour Statisticians and promulgated by the
      ILO in 1987. The unemployment rate is the percentage of economically active people
      who are unemployed on the ILO measure.


The economically inactive
The economically inactive refers to those persons of working age who are neither in
employment nor unemployment, i.e. all other persons not included in (a) or (b) above.
This group includes all those who were looking after a home or retired; students who
were looking for work but said that they were not available to start work within two
weeks because they had to complete full-time education; and, although most LFS
analysis is for persons aged 16 and over this group also includes all people aged under
16.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
     The NI LFS can be disaggregated by gender and age group; and also, for those in
      employment, by employment category and hours worked; and for the unemployed, by
      unemployment duration.
     The NI LFS data is available in the following geographical units:
      -   NUTS III – NI‟s five NUTS III regions are: Belfast, Outer Belfast, East of NI,
          North of NI, West & South of NI.
      -   District Council Area – NI‟s 26 District Council Areas are: Antrim, Ards,
          Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh,


4
 The identification of persons within this group is in accordance with international recommendations. It
comprises persons doing unpaid work for a business they own or for a business that a relative owns.


                                                   5
       Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Derry, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne,
       Limavady, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry & Mourne, Newtownabbey,
       North Down, Omagh, Strabane.
   -   Parliamentary Constituency Area – NI‟s 18 Parliamentary Constituency areas are:
       Belfast East, Belfast North, Belfast South, Belfast West, East Antrim, East
       Londonderry, Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Foyle, Lagan Valley, Mid Ulster,
       Newry & Armagh, North Antrim, North Down, South Antrim, South Down,
       Strangford, Upper Bann, West Tyrone.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
The LFS, like any other survey, has both its strengths and limitations.
Amongst its main strengths are:
(a) Sample Size – The LFS is the biggest regular household survey conducted in NI. The
   boosted sample size allows a greater statistical significance, especially for
   disaggregated results including changes as well as levels.
(b) Contents – The NI LFS provides a rich source of information on a number of vital
   labour market characteristics covering details of individuals‟ current jobs, or, for
   those not in employment, the type of work wanted; whether they want to work; how
   they look for work etc., as well as information on qualifications and benefits received.
   The type of information collected allows users of the LFS to build a well-formed
   picture of how people fit into the labour market.
(c) Comparability – The NI LFS is collected according to consistent standards,
   classifications, sampling, weighting, definitions and overall methodologies.
   Conforming to requirements set by world bodies such as the ILO, the questionnaire
   design and definitions used are internationally agreed allowing both national and
   international comparison of data on labour markets.
(d) Classification – all persons in the 16+ population are placed in one of three groups –
   the employed, the unemployed or the economically inactive.
(e) Timeliness – data is available approximately six weeks after the end of the period to
   which they refer. For example, LFS produces estimates each month which relate to




                                             6
   the most recent quarterly period so July‟s publication contains figures for March to
   May, Augusts publication contains figures for April to June etc.


Limitations of the LFS include:
(a) Sampling error – the LFS is a sample survey and not a complete count of everyone in
   NI, and as a result, estimates obtained from it are subject to sampling variability.
   Thus, had a different sample been chosen this would have produced different results.
   However, it is expected that in 95% of samples the range would contain the true
   value. Nevertheless, sampling error does affect the results and so the LFS cannot be
   used to make exact statements about the true level of unemployment, for example.
   Also, given the likelihood of sampling error, which invariably means that estimates
   for smaller groups will be (proportionately) less precise, NI LFS estimates under
   8,000 are not published as they are likely to be unreliable.
(b) Coverage – the LFS sample design is not industrially stratified so provides no
   guarantee of adequate coverage of any particular industry. Also, because the LFS
   coverage omits some communal establishments such as local authority homes, or
   residential homes, it excludes just over one per cent of the total population.
(c) Discontinuity of data – although the LFS has been conducted in NI since 1973, the
   data is not free from discontinuities making it difficult to study long time series of
   LFS data. Examples of discontinuities include:
       (i)     Changing definitions – prior to 1984, the definition of unemployment was
               slightly different that it is today making it difficult to produce a consistent
               time-series of unemployment back to the 1970s.
       (ii)    Improvements in survey methodology – the decision to move to a
               quarterly LFS also included a decision to enhance the coverage of the
               survey to include students living in halls of residence or boarding schools
               and people living in NHS / Hospital Trust accommodation, thereby
               increasing by approximately 40 to 50 thousand.
       (iii)   Changes to the questionnaire – for example, in 1996, the LFS questions
               about qualifications were changed to provide more coherent and accurate
               data. This inevitably led to changes in the data.



                                              7
(d) Self-classification – for some detailed questions, self-classification can lead to
    differences between the LFS and other data sources e.g. industry of respondents
    workplace.
(e) Even though the LFS has a boosted sample size relative to the other regions of the
    UK, the still relatively small size means that estimates at lower geographical levels
    are not obtainable as they are more likely to be unreliable.


Comparisons with similar GB data
As stated, the LFS is conducted throughout Europe so is a highly comparable dataset.
The NI LFS has the same sample structure and is processed in much the same way as in
GB.


LFS Publications
The LFS is designed to produce reliable estimates for all quarterly periods 5 but not for
individual months. However, NI LFS summary results are published monthly in the
„Labour Market Statistics Press Release‟ at the same time as Office for National
Statistics‟ (ONS) monthly „Labour Market Statistics First Release‟. The data published
every month is seasonally adjusted.


LFS data is also published on the DETI website and each quarter DETI produce a bulletin
containing more detailed LFS results.


The most recent NI LFS labour market statistics available are for March – May 2007.


Is it accessible?
Data for NI are readily accessible on the DETI website. NI figures are also available via
the following channels:
       ONS offers the LFS Data Service where users can purchase the databases.




5
  Following a requirement from Eurostat, the LFS moved from seasonal quarters to calendar quarters in
January 2006 with the first results (January – March) published for the first time in May 2006.


                                                 8
      The Data Archive at the University of Essex holds the quarterly databases for use
       by academics and researchers. Individual level records are available on the Data
       Archive.
      NOMIS Website
      The National Statistics website publishes the „Labour Market Statistics Press
       Release‟


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has overall responsibility for the LFS in NI. Further information about the survey
can be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9383, or by e-mailing
owen.johnston@detini.gov.uk.


Queries can also be addressed to:

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch,
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                           9
3.2 Census of Employment (CoE)


Overview
The NI Census of Employment (CoE) is a statutory enquiry carried out every two years
by DETI. It provides a full count of the number of employee jobs in all industries 6
(excluding agriculture). Data are available for NI as a whole or sub-NI level. Results can
also be broken down by sex; full-time and part-time working patterns; and detailed
industrial activity (subject to confidentiality constraints). The CoE counts the number of
jobs rather than the number of persons with jobs and as such, a person with more than
one job, full-time or part-time, will be counted twice. The CoE does not include the self-
employed.


Background to the CoE
The NI CoE was first conducted in 1971 and continued on an annual basis until 1978
since when, in an effort to reduce costs and the form filling burden on businesses, it has
been carried out biennially. It is a statutory enquiry of all employers in NI carried out
under the Statistics of Trade and Employment (NI) Order 1988.


Survey Selection / Size
The units to be surveyed for the CoE are drawn from the Inter-Departmental Business
Register (IDBR) which contains information on all UK businesses which are VAT
registered or operating a PAYE scheme 7. All units considered to be „live‟ at the time of
the survey are included. The businesses are selected in May / June of the reference year
with further top-ups in September and the following February.




6
    Units with SIC codes 01 (except 0142), 95, 96, 97 and 99 are excluded.
7
  The IDBR provides the sampling frame for the vast majority of Government statistical surveys to
businesses. The register is held by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with the NI element of the
register being maintained by the Statistics Research Branch at DETI.



                                                      10
The CoE is conducted by means of a postal enquiry. Census forms are sent to the
addresses where employers hold their pay records 8, asking them to return information on
the numbers of employees and the business activity for each address where they have
employees. The survey is a statutory requirement and a full response is sought in order to
obtain an accurate count of the number of employee jobs at census date.


The CoE surveys over 40,000 workplaces every two years and has achieved an effective
response rate of 98 per cent for actual live units in recent years.


Given that the CoE is only conducted every two years, employment estimates for sectors
(other than agriculture) for the period in between, are based on the Quarterly
Employment Survey (QES). However, only the CoE provides information on the nature
and number of jobs available at the local area level in NI. The QES sample size is chosen
to ensure it is accurate to within +/- 1% of the Census total.


How is it produced?
DETI has responsibility for conducting the CoE in NI including data collection and
analysis and interpretation of the data. The survey is conducted by a postal enquiry every
two years. DETI administrate the timing and quantity of the forms issued however, a
private company, ICS Computing Limited actually prints, envelopes and posts the forms.


In the event of a form being sent to the wrong address, every effort is made to source an
alternative address for that company and send out another form. Non-responses are also
followed up with two reminders and a telephone call. If, after this, there is still no
response, legal action is considered.


Completed forms are returned to DETI who edit-check the forms and then pass them on
to ICS Computing Limited where they are keyed into the bespoke CoE database.




8
 In some cases, companies may request that individual forms are sent to each address where they have
employees.


                                                11
Employment for non-respondents is estimated on the basis of previous returns and / or
information already held on the IDBR.


Information contained within the COE
The CoE provides information on the nature and characteristics of non-agricultural
businesses in NI at a specific time of the year (the reference date) which for the census is
the first Monday in September (every other year). The Census covers employee jobs
only thereby excluding all self-employed jobs. The survey also excludes the following:
a) Agriculture (but includes animal husbandry service activities and hunting, trapping
      and game propagation).
b) HM Armed Forces
c) Private domestic servants
d) Home workers
e) Trainees without a contract of employment (those with non-employment status)


The CoE is undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development (DARD) Farm Census. This employee figure includes all workers – full-
time, part-time, and casual workers (both paid and unpaid) – in agricultural businesses
other than (a) part-time farmers and partners and (b) farmers‟ spouses. The combined
total from the Farm Census9 and the CoE provides an estimate of the total number of
employee jobs in NI.


Each employer is asked a number of questions relating to their employees. The following
information is collected for each employee:
                   -    Gender
                   -    Status - Part-time10 / Full-time
                   -    5-Digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) (SIC80 pre-1995,
                        SIC92 post-1993 and SIC03 post-2004)

9
 Agriculture employee jobs figures are available only for the whole of NI and are not included in District
Council estimates.
10
     Persons working 30 hours or less per week are normally regarded as being in part-time employment.



                                                     12
The availability of all figures is subject to confidentiality constraints.

To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Employment estimates from the NI CoE are available by gender, employment status –
full-time / part-time, 5-Digit SIC classification and a Public / Private sector split.
Estimates are also for Travel-to-work Areas, District Council Areas, Parliamentary
Constituency Areas and Wards11.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The NI CoE is a census as opposed to a sample and therefore provides the only full
       count of employee jobs in NI. NI is the only UK region to still conduct the CoE.
(b) It is a statutory survey and achieves an effective response rate of approximately 98
       per cent.
(c) Data are available by sex; full-time and part-time working patterns; detailed industrial
       activity (subject to confidentiality constraints); and a number of geographical units.
(d) The CoE allows changes in the structure of employment in NI to be tracked over time
       by counting the number and type of jobs as distinct from the number of persons with
       a job.


Limitations:
(a) The CoE counts the number of jobs rather than the number of persons with jobs and
       so a person holding both a full-time and a part-time job, or a person holding two part-
       time jobs will be counted twice.
(b) The CoE covers employee jobs only and so excludes the self-employed.
(c) The CoE also excludes HM Armed Forces, private domestic servants, home-workers,
       and job-skills trainees without a contract of employment.
(d) Employees are classified according to the SIC (now SIC03) from the main business
       description for each employment unit and so users of the CoE should be aware that
       not all sub-activities of a business are coded individually. For e.g. A person working


11
     Disaggregated geographical data is only available from 1984 onwards.


                                                     13
       in an IT job within a large bank would be coded to „financial intermediation‟ and not
       to „computer and related activities‟.
(e) Sub-NI analysis from the CoE is primarily based on the location of the jobs, not on
       the home address of the employees. The relocation or change of reporting procedures
       by large employers can therefore affect the CoE sub-NI analysis when making inter-
       censal comparisons.
(f) The CoE collects only basic information about employee jobs and so does not enable
       any detailed analysis of the NI labour market.
(g) The CoE contains no turnover information.
(h) The Census Reporting Unit (RU) numbers are not the same as the IDBR RU numbers
       which makes it more difficult to link to other government datasets 12.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The NI CoE is a unique dataset with no similar dataset currently being undertaken in the
UK. However, prior to the cessation of the CoE for GB in September 1993, the NI CoE
and the GB CoE together provided data for the UK.


CoE Publications
In the year following the CoE survey, a number of publications are made available on the
DETI website13.           A Statistics Bulletin is also published.        The most recent NI CoE
statistics available are for 2005.


Is it accessible?
Data for NI are readily accessible on the DETI website; however, all figures are subject
to confidentiality constraints.




12
  The Local Unit (LU) numbers are the same, however, as a lot of data is given out at RU level, the LU
number is not particularly helpful.
13
     Information is available in excel spreadsheet format.



                                                       14
Contact Details of Producers
DETI has full responsibility for the COE in NI. Further information about the survey can
be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9379, or by e-mailing
sean.donnelly@detini.gov.uk.


Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch, Census Section
Netherleigh,
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                             15
3.3 Quarterly Employment Survey (QES)


Overview
The QES is a business survey which has been conducted in NI since 1978. It has a
sample size of just under 5,000 and covers all public sector employers, all employers with
25 or more employees and a representative sample of smaller firms. The QES provides
short-term employee jobs estimates for NI as a whole. The estimates from the QES are
an important economic indicator of trends in the whole economy and are also used by
ONS to feed into the calculation of the quarterly workforce jobs estimates for the UK as a
whole.


Background to the QES
The NI QES was first conducted in September 1978. In December 1992 the survey was
extended to include a full-time / part-time split in the results. The QES is a voluntary
survey of employers which is used to provide an estimate of the number of employee jobs
in all industrial classes for the periods between the Employment Censuses at the NI level
only.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The QES is a sample survey covering all public sector employers, all employers with 25
or more employees and a representative sample of smaller firms.           The sample of
addresses to be surveyed is drawn from the IDBR with the sample size such that the
estimates of total employee jobs should be accurate to within +/- 1% of the CoE total.


The QES is a postal survey; however, employers that have been selected to take part in
the survey can now complete their return on-line via the DETI website. Employers are
asked to submit information on the number of males / females in full-time and part-time
employment by business activity.


The QES surveys approximately 4,800 employers each quarter and the most recent
survey achieved a 99 per cent response rate.



                                           16
How is it produced?
The Statistics Research Branch (SRB) within DETI has responsibility for conducting the
QES in NI. This includes the administering and timing of the forms issued, inputting the
data and all analysis and interpretation of the data.
When the survey is complete, QES sample numbers are “grossed up” based on CoE
results. QES employment estimates are often subject to revision in light of results
obtained from the NI CoE when employer returns are compared. The revisions are made
to each quarter, back as far as the latest published CoE estimates which is currently
September 2005. For example, the most recent CoE estimates showed employee jobs to
be 0.3% higher than the QES estimate for that date and as is normal practice, a two-stage
re-basing exercise has been undertaken to realign the series which includes drawing a
new sample and revising the series for the period December 2005 to December 2006.


All employer returns are collated into industry classes using SIC03 to ensure that
individual business returns remain confidential.


Employment for non-respondents is estimated on the basis of previous returns and / or
information already held on the IDBR.


Information contained within the QES
The QES is a voluntary survey of employers in NI covering all public sector bodies
(which comprise central government14, local government and public corporations), all
private sector firms with 25+ employees and a representative sample of smaller firms.
Information is collected on the number of persons in full-time / part-time employment by
gender and SIC03 for NI as a whole.


The survey covers all industrial sectors (excluding agriculture) and as with the CoE,
overall employment estimates for the agricultural sector are provided, on an annual basis,
from DARD.


14
     Includes all NHS Trusts



                                              17
A seasonally adjusted employment series is available on a consistent basis from 1978
onwards and figures by main industrial sector from 1994 onwards.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Employment estimates from the NI QES are available by gender, employment status –
full-time / part-time, and 2-Digit SIC classification (SIC03)15.


Information on employee jobs at a sub-NI level and at a 5-Digit SIC03 level are available
from the CoE.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Sample Size – The QES surveys approximately 4,800 employers every quarter. It
     covers all industrial sections apart from agriculture.
(b) Response Rate – the QES has a very high response rate with the most recent one at 99
     per cent.
(c) Data are available by gender; full-time and part-time working patterns; and industrial
     activity (subject to confidentiality constraints).
(d) The QES contains the main changes in the number of employee jobs by SIC over the
     quarter and over the year for a specific reference date. In addition, it also includes
     longitudinal data for the number of employee jobs, self-employment jobs and
     workforce jobs in NI.
(e) The employment estimates from the QES are an important economic indicator of
     trends in the whole economy which are widely used by economists and economic
     commentators both within and outside Government in assessments of the state of the
     economy.




15
   The QES may provide employment estimates at a more disaggregated level (than 2-Digit SIC) upon
request.


                                               18
Limitations:
(a) The QES is a sample survey and, unlike the CoE, not a complete count of everyone
   in NI, so estimates obtained from it may be subject to sampling error.
(b) The QES (like the CoE) counts the number of jobs rather than the number of persons
   with jobs and so a person holding both a full-time and a part-time job, or a person
   holding two part-time jobs will be counted twice.
(c) The QES covers employee jobs only and so excludes the self-employed.
(d) Employees are classified according to the SIC (now SIC03) from the main business
   description for each employment unit and so users should be aware that not all sub-
   activities of a business are coded individually. For e.g. A person working in an IT job
   within a large bank would be coded to „financial intermediation‟ and not to „computer
   and related activities‟.
(e) The QES contains only basic information about employee jobs and so does not enable
   any detailed analysis of the NI labour market.
(f) The QES contains no turnover information.
(g) Employee numbers by work pattern (full-time / part-time) are only available since
   1992 when the methodology changed to include the split.
(h) Timeliness – Results aren‟t published until approximately fourteen weeks after each
   quarter.


Comparisons with similar GB data
There is no directly comparable data source within GB; however, ONS run a similar
survey, the Short-Term Employment Survey (STES) which collects information on the
number of employees from a sample of approximately 9,000 businesses in production
industries each month and 30,000 businesses in service and distribution industries each
quarter. Like the QES, the sample is drawn from the IDBR. The STES provides
estimates of employment by gender, industry and work pattern.


QES Publications
Every quarter, approximately fourteen weeks after the survey is conducted, the „Quarterly
Employment Survey (QES) Supplement‟ is published on the DETI website. The QES



                                           19
estimates are also available in excel spreadsheet format.       The most recent QES
publication refers to March 2007. Results from the QES are also published in DETI‟s
Monthly Labour Market Report.


Is it accessible?
Data from the QES is readily accessible on the DETI website; however, all figures are
subject to confidentiality constraints.


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has full responsibility for the QES in NI. Further information about the survey can
be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9648, or by e-mailing
damian.buchanan@detini.gov.uk


Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch,
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                          20
3.4 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)


Overview
The ASHE is an annual sample survey of the earnings of employees in employment
throughout the UK. Its main purpose is to provide information on hourly, weekly and
annual earnings by gender, work patterns, industry and occupation including public vs
private sector pay comparisons. It is a UK wide survey with the NI element being
conducted by DETI.


Background to the ASHE
The ASHE replaced the New Earnings Survey (NES) from October 2004. The NES was
first conducted in NI in April 1971 and continued on an annual basis until 2004 when it
was replaced by the ASHE following recommendations made in the National Statistics
Quality Review of the Distribution of Earnings for improving the collection of earnings
statistics. ASHE is the first survey to be developed by ONS as part of its statistical
modernisation programme and incorporates improved methodologies and tools. The
improved methodologies meant a discontinuity between previously published NES
figures and the new 2004 ASHE results and as a result ASHE comparisons are only
available on a consistent basis from 2004 onwards.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The ASHE survey is based on the same sampling frame as the NES; however the ASHE
methodology also includes improved coverage of employees and weighting of earnings
estimates.


The Inland Revenue‟s PAYE System is used to select the sample of employees for the
ASHE. The survey is based on a 1 per cent sample of employees appearing in the PAYE
taxation system which is obtained in February of each year. Someone who is in more
than one PAYE scheme may appear more than once. The ASHE does not cover the self-
employed or those employees not paid during the reference period.




                                           21
Individuals are selected by reference to the last two digits of their National Insurance (NI)
numbers16, which results in a survey sample which is representative of employees in the
whole economy, in all industries and in all occupations.


Since 2004, in an effort to make the survey more representative, information has also
been collected on employees who have either moved jobs or entered the labour market
between February (when the sample is selected) and April, when the survey is conducted.
Since 2005, the sample has included representatives of employees outside the PAYE
scheme – those employees either working for a firm with turnover below the PAYE
threshold and / or earning below the PAYE threshold.


The ASHE is a postal survey and the questionnaires for each employee are completed by
their employer under the authority of the Statistics of Trade and Employment (NI) Order
1988. Employers are asked to complete a questionnaire which seeks information on all
aspects of earnings and employment during a specific week in April each year.
Information collected is treated as strictly confidential and is used only for statistical
purposes.


The most recent ASHE conducted in NI surveyed just under 6,700 employees of which a
total of 6,416 returns were received by DETI giving a response rate of 96 per cent.


How is it produced?
DETI is responsible for conducted the ASHE in NI. Questionnaires are usually sent to
employers in early April and returned some time after the reference date (a specific week
in April).


Once all the returns are collated (usually by August), the data is validated and dispatched
to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the weighting to be carried out. ASHE




16
     Selecting all those individuals whose NI number ends in a certain combination of digits.


                                                       22
responses are weighted to the employee totals as measured by the LFS 17, so each person
participating in the survey is assigned a “weight” or “grossing factor” in accordance with
their age, sex, occupation and workplace. The weighting factors also take account of
differing response rates.          Final grossed up results should then reflect the total
employment distribution in NI. Given that the ASHE is weighted, items of non-response
must also be imputed. Non-responses are estimated by a system of donor imputation
which means estimating the missing value on the basis of the response received from
respondents with similar characteristics to the respondent with the non-response item.


The final grossed up results are returned to DETI for analysis.


Information contained within the ASHE
The ASHE is the main source of data on the distribution of earnings in the UK and the
most detailed and comprehensive source of information on the following:
    The level of earnings18 – information on the level of earnings is available by gender; a
     public and private sector split; and different occupational and industrial groupings.
    The distribution of earnings – information is available on the distribution of earnings
     both between individuals and from year to year.
    The make-up of earnings – ASHE collects information on all aspects of earnings
     including basic, overtime, payment-by-results, incentive payments, bonuses and shift
     payments.
    Hours worked – information is available on average hours worked and the
     distribution of hours worked
    Earnings by age
    The ASHE also collects information on the pension arrangements of all employees
     included in the sample.


17
  The LFS move from seasonal quarters to calendar quarters in 2006 also applies to the ASHE, however a
consistent back-series has been produced back to 2004.
18
  Unless otherwise stated, average earnings figures relate to gross pay before tax, NI or other deductions,
and exclude payments in kind. They relate to full-time employees only (working 30+hours per week or 25
for teachers and academics) on adult rates of pay and exclude those whose pay has been affected by
absence.


                                                    23
Annual earnings are provided only for those employees who have been in their jobs for at
least a year, regardless of whether or not their pay was affected by absence.


The ASHE does not cover the self-employed or those employees not paid during the
reference period.


The headline statistics published from the ASHE are based on the median as opposed to
the mean. The ONS views the median as a more useful measure of pay levels as it is less
influenced by the skewed distribution of the earnings data which is due to the very high
earnings of just a few employees.      The median measures the amount earned by the
average individual – the level of earnings above which half the population fall.

The ASHE results provide no identifiable information on persons or businesses. The
availability of all figures is subject to confidentiality constraints and the results are
restricted to figures derived from a sufficiently large number of employees.

To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Earnings estimates from the ASHE are available by Industry (2-Digit SIC level),
Occupation (up to 4-Digit SOC breakdown), Age, and a Public / Private sector split.
Earnings estimates can also be disaggregated by Work and Home Postcode to District
Council Area and Parliamentary Constituency Area.


Pension type is available by Age, Industry and Occupation.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Contents – The ASHE is the main data source on the distribution of earnings in NI
   and throughout the UK providing a wide range of information on earnings and hours
   worked. The information collected allows a detailed analysis of earnings in NI.
(b) ASHE is the first survey to be designed as part of the ONS statistical modernization
   programme and therefore benefits from improved methodologies and statistical tools.




                                            24
(c) ASHE results can be mapped for NI on the NI Neighbourhood Statistics Site (NINIS)
     which provides free access to statistical and locational information relating to small
     areas across NI.
(d) Data from the ASHE are available by gender, age, industrial activity and occupation
     as well as District Council and Parliamentary Constituency Areas (subject to
     confidentiality constraints).


Limitations:
(a) Small sample size - The ASHE has a sample size of just 1% of all employees in NI
     that are covered by PAYE schemes.
(b) Sampling error – as the ASHE is a sample survey estimates obtained from it are
     subject to sampling variability. Estimates of the standard error are given with some
     of the tables and it is advised that where there is a large standard error, users of the
     data exercise caution when drawing any conclusions.
(c) Coverage – the ASHE excludes the self-employed; those in domestic service; persons
     working for their spouses; occupational pensioners; non-salaried directors; and clergy
     holding pastoral appointments.
(d) Having replaced the NES with ASHE in 2004 and improving the survey methodology
     in the process, there is now a discontinuity between previously published NES figures
     and the new 2004 ASHE results and as a result ASHE comparisons are only available
     on a consistent basis from 2004 onwards 19.
(e) It is possible to double count persons who appear in more than one PAYE scheme.
(f) Timeliness – Results aren‟t published until approximately six months after the survey
     date.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The ASHE in NI is part of a UK wide survey and the same methodologies apply making
it highly comparable. Comparative data is available for England, Scotland and Wales.




19
  ASHE data has been published for 1998 – 2004 however quality assurance of the earlier data has to be
completed before publication of 1992 – 1997 estimates.


                                                   25
ASHE Publications
Every October the results from the NI ASHE are published on the DETI website. Results
are published in a report and data is available in excel spreadsheet format also. All
regional and UK data is available from ONS.


Is it accessible?
Data from the ASHE is readily accessible on the DETI website; however, individual and
company data cannot be released and all figures are subject to confidentiality constraints.
To ensure confidentiality, standard ONS rules apply which means there must be a
minimum of three respondents contributing, while no one employer is dominant.


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has full responsibility for the ASHE in NI. Further information about the survey
can be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9385 or (028) 9052 9897, or by e-
mailing joanne.henderson@detini.gov.uk


Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch, ASHE Section
Room 110
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                            26
3.5 Northern Ireland Claimant Count


Overview
The NI Claimant Count records the number of people claiming unemployment-related
benefits, currently Jobseeker‟s Allowance (JSA) and National Insurance Credits. NI
Claimant Count Records have been collected since 1971 and the series has been used as a
main indicator of labour market activity since then. Figures are derived from records of
claimants held at Social Security Offices.


How is it produced?
DETI are responsible for collating and analysing the claimant count figures which are
derived from the administrative systems set up for the payment of benefits to unemployed
persons. Information about all persons claiming JSA or National Insurance Credits is
available from the Social Security Office.


The count of all claimants of unemployment-related benefit is a 100 per cent count and so
it can be reliably disaggregated to smaller geographic areas. Claimant count is not an
official measure of unemployment but it is the only indicative statistic available for areas
smaller than Local Authority Area.


There are two claimant count rates produced at the NI level – a workplace-based rate and
a residence-based rate. The workplace-based rate is calculated by expressing the number
of people claiming unemployment related benefits as a percentage of the estimated total
workforce (the sum of employee jobs, claimants, self-employed jobs, armed forces and
participants on work-related government training schemes). The residence-based rate is
calculated by expressing the number of claimants as a percentage of the estimated
resident working-age20 population of that area.




20
     Working age includes those aged between 16-59 for females and 16-64 for males.


                                                    27
Information contained within the NI Claimant Count / To what extent is it possible to
disaggregate the data?
The Claimant Count is a very up-to-date measure of those eligible to claim either JSA or
National Insurance Credits. The figures include severely disabled claimants but exclude
students seeking „holiday‟ work and those who have temporarily stopped working.
Information on file includes National Insurance Number, geographic details (e.g.
postcode, local office, and ward codes), gender, marital status, occupation sought, usual
occupation, date of birth, start and end dates of unemployment spells and reason for
leaving the count. However, data on individuals are not disclosed and confidentiality is
preserved by only producing analyses in an aggregate form.


The level at which the data can be disaggregated is as follows:
          Age
          Duration21
          Geography – Claimant Count data are available by Travel-to-Work Area; District
           Council Area; Parliamentary Constituency Area and NUTS III Area.
          Occupation – Claimant Count data are available by 2-Digit SOC 2000.


The data cannot be disaggregated by gender.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The NI Claimant count is very up-to-date and provides a reliable measure of those
       eligible to claim specific unemployment related benefits.
(b) The data is available both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted and is therefore a very
       useful measure for examining both long-term and short-term trends.
(c) The data is a very useful source of unemployment data, particularly for smaller
       geographical areas.
(d) The following types of analyses can be produced from the data:



21
     The Claimant Count is the main source of information on employment by age and duration.


                                                    28
        The number of unemployment spells experienced by people; the length of time
         between different spells of claimant unemployment; and average durations.
        The numbers experiencing at least one spell of claimant unemployment within a
         given time period.
        The proportion of claimants who left the claimant count, or returned, within given
         time periods.
        Numbers of claimants who became unemployed for 6, 12, or 18 month periods (or
         other specified duration thresholds) during a particular period.
        The total time spent by particular groups as an unemployed claimant over
         specified periods.
(e) Timeliness – Figures are published approximately one month after the reference date.


Limitations:
(a) Whilst the claimant count does provide a further measure of unemployment, it does
     not give a complete coverage as it excludes those unemployed persons who do not
     wish to claim and those who are ineligible to claim, for example, persons whose
     partners are in employment; those under 18; the long-term unemployed, and as a
     result will under-estimate the number of people out of work 22.
(b) The analysis of claimant count data by occupation has been affected by the
     implementation of the new SOC 2000 (formerly SOC 90) which, with effect from 1
     April 2002, has been used by NI Social Security Offices to code jobseekers‟ usual
     and sought occupations. A form of conversion between new and old occupational
     coding has been applied although given that there is no unique one-to-one
     correspondence between SOC 90 and SOC 2000, translation is often difficult.
(c) A number of major changes have also affected the consistency of claimant count
     statistics over time. These include:
        Since 1982 data has been collected on the basis of claimants of benefit in
         Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) Social
         Security Offices as opposed to registrants at Employment Services Offices.

22
  In was partly in recognition of this, as well as moves to harmonise measures of unemployment across the
EU, that in April 1988, the government increased the weight it placed on the ILO definition of
unemployment as opposed to the claimant count.


                                                   29
       The 1983 budget gave males aged 60 and over (i) the long term rate of
        supplementary benefit without waiting for one year and (ii) automatic National
        Insurance Credit without signing on.
       Travel-to-work Areas changed
       School leavers excluded from the count
       Introduction of JSA
       Introduction on New Deal and New Deal 25+


Comparisons with similar GB data
Claimant count figures are available for all UK regions. GB figures are taken from the
Jobcentre Plus (formerly Employment Service) Administrative Systems at the
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


ONS seasonally adjusts the headline data for regions of the UK and also adjusts the data
to take account of changes to the benefit system to be consistent with current coverage.


NI Claimant Count Publications
The claimant count is the timeliest measure of unemployment. Data is available in excel
format on the DETI website every month with the reference period being the previous
month. These figures are published as part of the NI Monthly Labour Market Report.
ONS also publish NI claimant count figures in their Regional Trends publications.


Is it accessible?
Claimant count data is readily accessible on the DETI website; however, individual data
cannot be released.


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has responsibility for collating and analysing claimant count data in NI. Further
information can be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9311, or by e-mailing
statistics@detini.gov.uk




                                            30
Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch, Room 110
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                         31
3.6 Redundancies


Overview
Under the Employment Rights (NI) Order 1996 (Amended October 2006), all companies
are legally required to notify DETI of impending redundancies of 20 or more employees.


How are the figures collected / produced?
DETI are responsible for collecting and maintaining the redundancy data. Subject to the
above criteria, employers must notify the Department of (a) redundancies proposed and
(b) redundancies confirmed.


Businesses proposing to make collective redundancies (20+) must notify the Department
using the Advance Notification – HR1 Form. Forms can be downloaded from the DETI
website but must be returned manually. Since October 2006, the Department must be
informed before redundancy notices are issued to staff. Employers must then contact the
Department with confirmation of all redundancies. Since all redundancies do not actually
take place, only the confirmed total is published as this gives a much better indication of
real job losses.


Information contained within the dataset / To what extent is it possible to disaggregate
the data?

In addition to providing details of where, when and how many redundancies are
proposed, firms are also asked to provide reasons for the proposed redundancies.

Total confirmed redundancies are available on a monthly basis, disaggregated at sub-
regional level by District Council Area, Travel-to-Work Area, and Parliamentary
Constituency Area, and by Job Sector (SIC92 broad industrial groupings).

Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The number of redundancies is an important indicator of changes in the demand for
    labour and can signal changes in the overall health of the labour market.           NI



                                            32
   redundancy statistics are up-to-date and readily available on the DETI website (data is
   revised on a monthly basis as redundancies are confirmed).
(b) The data are available at a sub-regional level and by industrial grouping.


Limitations:
(a) Given that firms must only notify the Department of impending redundancies of 20 or
   more employees, the figures are likely to underestimate total job losses. It is not
   possible to quantify the extent of the shortfall.
(b) Also, redundancies do not always equate to the number of job losses as employees on
   a temporary contract and those employees who are not entitled to a redundancy
   package will not be included in the redundancy figures.


Comparisons with similar GB data
In GB, the Collective Redundancies (Amendment) Regulations 2006 places a duty on all
employers to notify the Secretary of State of impending redundancies of 20 or more
employees.     As is the case in NI, the Secretary of State must be informed before
redundancy notices are issued to staff. Whether or not this data is readily available is
unclear.


Also, since November 2004, redundancy levels and rates are also available from the LFS
on a three-month rolling average basis. These figures are seasonally adjusted and take
into account the latest population estimates. These figures are published in the ONS
Regional Trends publication.       The redundancy rate is based on the ratio of the
redundancy level for the given quarter, to the number of employees in the previous
quarter, multiplied by 1,000. The results are available for the GORs in GB, Wales,
Scotland and NI. However, for some areas, the sample sizes are too small to provide
reliable estimates but are nevertheless included in the UK total.




                                             33
Publications
Redundancy statistics are available in excel format on the DETI website every month
with the reference period being the previous month. These figures are revised on a
monthly basis and are also published as part of the NI Monthly Labour Market Report.


Is it accessible?
Redundancy statistics are readily accessible on the DETI website.


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has responsibility for maintaining and reporting redundancy data in NI. Further
information can be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052 9311, or by e-mailing
statistics@detini.gov.uk


Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch, Room 110
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP




                                           34
3.7 Vacancies

Headline vacancy figures are reported by the Department for Employment and Learning
(DEL) at www.delni.gov.uk. The figures presented indicate the number of vacancies as
reported by employers to Jobcentres of DEL on a monthly basis – referred to as Inflows.
The series also shows the total number of Outflows – those vacancies which have been
previously notified and have been placed or cancelled – and, Unfilled Vacancies –
vacancies which were notified and remain unfilled at the count date.      Only a total
vacancy figure is available – there is no breakdown by work pattern, occupational or
industrial classification.


Headline vacancy figures are available on a monthly basis from September 1999 –
present.    Vacancy figures are also available by Jobcentre as at the end of each month
from February 1999 – 2006. All figures are derived from DEL Client Management
System (CMS).


For further information contact:
Research and Evaluation Branch, DEL
Adelaide House,
39-49 Adelaide Street,
Belfast
BT2 8FD


Tel: (028) 9025 7743
Email: reb@delni.gov.uk




                                          35
3.8 Fair Employment Monitoring Returns


Overview
Fair employment monitoring returns are collected annually by the Equality Commission
for NI (ECNI). The Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998 requires registered
and specified employers to collect and submit information detailing the composition of
their workforce by community background, sex, occupational grouping and work pattern
(whether they worked 16+ hours or less per week).


Background
The Fair Employment (NI) Act 1989 (The 1989 Act) introduced compulsory workforce
monitoring for firms in NI. The Act required that certain employers must be registered
with the ECNI (formerly the Fair Employment Commission (FEC)) and complete an
annual monitoring return. Since 1989, the ECNI has had responsibility for collecting and
analysing this data which is produced in their Annual Monitoring Report.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
Under the terms of The 1989 Act, certain employers were required to register with the
ECNI. All specified public sector bodies are automatically registered and since January
199223, all private sector bodies with 11 or more employees are also required to register.
All registered employers are then legally obliged to submit, by written return, an annual
monitoring return form which contains information about the religious and gender
composition of their employees, as well as all applicants and appointees.                               Firms
employing 250+ staff and all Public Authorities must also provide information on the
religious and gender composition of promotees and leavers.


The total monitored workforce is obviously subject to change each year; however the
most recently published Annual Monitoring Report 24 presents a summary of results from
4,259 (142 public sector bodies and 4,117 private sector employers) valid monitoring

23
     Prior to this, only private sector firms employing more than 26 employees were required to register.
24
     The 16th Annual Monitoring Report (2005 Results) was published in December 2006.


                                                       36
returns received by the Commission in 2005. The number of monitored employees was
517,720 – an estimated 74.6% of employee jobs in NI (DETI Labour Market Report,
February 2006).


How are the figures collected / produced?
The ECNI is responsible for collating the monitoring data and all analysis and
interpretation of the data. All registered, specified firms submit their monitoring forms
annually and in December of each year the EC publish their Annual Monitoring Report
which reports a summary of the figures relating to returns received by the EC between 1 st
January and 31st December the previous year.


The reported figures relate only to the workforce composition within monitored
employment and not to all employees in NI.


Information contained within the Fair Employment Monitoring Returns / To what
extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
All registered firms must provide the following information on each of their employees:
      Religious background (Protestant, Catholic or non-determined)
      Gender
      Occupation (by SOC 2000)
      Working pattern (less than or more than 16 hours per week)


The above information is also available for all applicants and appointees.


In addition to the above, firms employing in excess of 250 staff and all public sector
bodies must also provide the same information for all job leavers and those who were
promoted during the specified year.


Data is available for the public sector monitored workforce by community or religious
background by:
      Working pattern – full-time / part-time



                                            37
        Sex
        Occupation - 9 SOC Groupings
        Security related occupations (PSNI, TA, NIPS etc.)
        Composition of the major sectors – Health, Education, District Councils, Civil
         Service.


Data is available for the private sector monitored workforce by community or religious
background by:
        Working pattern – full-time / part-time
        Sex
        Occupation - 9 SOC2000 Groupings25
        Company size
        Industry - 10 SIC80 Groupings26
        Sector (Manufacturing, Construction and Services)


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) By covering all public bodies and all private sector employers with 11 or more staff,
     the monitoring data provides a detailed picture of the employment market at a
     reasonably well disaggregated level.


Limitations:
(a) There is no age data provided on employees.
(b) The monitoring data, for obvious reasons, provides no measure of unemployment.

25
  The nine SOC2000 groups are:- SOC1 Managers and Senior Officials; SOC2 Professional Occupations;
SOC3 Associate Professional and Technical Occupations; SOC4 Administrative and Secretarial
Occupations; SOC5 Skilled Trades Occupations; SOC6 Personal Service Occupations; SOC7 Sales and
Customer Service Occupations; SOC8 Process, Plant and Machine Operatives; SOC9 Elementary
Occupations.
26
  Classification (SIC80) groups are:- SIC0 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; SIC1 Energy and Water
Supply Industries; SIC2 Extraction of Minerals and Ores other than Fuels; Manufacture of Metals, Mineral
Products and Chemicals; SIC3 Metal Goods, Engineering and Vehicle Industries; SIC4 Other
Manufacturing Industries; SIC5 Construction; SIC6 Distribution, Hotels and Catering; Repairs; SIC7
Transport and Communication; SIC8 Banking, Finance, Insurance, Business Services and Leasing; SIC9
Other Services;


                                                  38
(c) The data set uses very broad SIC groupings from SIC80 which are very out-of-date.
(d) As yet, the monitoring data give very limited information about the employment
    patterns of new residents in NI which given the changing composition of society is
    becoming increasingly important.
(e) The occupational classification used in all monitoring reports up to and including
    2003 was SOC90. The new system of classification at SOC2000 was adopted by
    employers in January 2004 to cover the period 2004-2005. This reclassification, as
    well as having a marked impact upon the occupational structure of employment in NI,
    has meant that direct comparisons between data for 2004 onwards and earlier years is
    extremely problematic.
(f) Timeliness – Figures are not published until a year after the year to which they refer.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The monitoring process in NI was started with the sole purpose of gathering information
about the balance and fairness of employment between NI‟s Roman Catholic and
Protestant Communities. Given that this is a problem specific to NI, there is no directly
comparable data collected and therefore available for GB.


Publications
The ECNI produces an annual research report based on employers monitoring returns
from the previous year. The full report and a summary version are available on the ECNI
website. In line with monitoring regulations, no information is published on individual
employers with less than ten Protestant or Roman Catholics as this may enable the
identification of individual employers.


Is it accessible?
These reports are readily accessible at http://www.equalityni.org




                                             39
Contact Details of Producers
The ECNI is responsible for collecting and reporting the monitoring data in NI. Further
information can be obtained from ECNI by telephoning (028) 9050 0600 or (028) 9089
0890, or by e-mailing information@equalityni.org


Queries can also be addressed to:


Equality Commission for NI
Equality House
7-9 Shaftesbury Square
Belfast
BT2 7DP




                                          40
3.9 NI Annual Business Inquiry (NI ABI)

Overview
The NI ABI is a statutory inquiry of businesses within the Production, Construction,
Distribution and Service sector industries in NI. Information collected as part of this
survey includes labour costs, total turnover, employment levels and employment costs.
The inquiry is conducted under the Statistics of Trade and Employment (NI) Order 1988.


Background to the NI ABI
The NI ABI was first conducted in 1998 and represents an amalgamation of the Annual
Census of Production (ACOP), Annual Census of Construction (ACOC) and Distribution
and Service Inquiries. It is an annual survey which brings together employment and
financial information from businesses and other establishments in NI to provide a picture
of the total value of NI based business activities, their associated incomes and
expenditures and the relative contribution of the major industrial sectors at basic prices.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The sample of firms for the NI ABI is drawn from the IDBR. The NI ABI surveys all
businesses in sections A – O, excluding J (Financial Intermediation) and L (Public
Administration and Defence) and parts of A (Agriculture) and N (Health), of the SIC 92 /
SIC 2003 system. Given the above exceptions, the survey covers about two thirds of the
NI economy. In Production, all businesses employing 20 or more employees are selected
for the survey; within the Construction sector, all businesses employing 50+ staff are
selected; and within Services, all businesses with 100 or more employees are selected.
Businesses which fall below the threshold of complete enumeration are selected on a
random stratified basis. The NI ABI surveys 1000+ businesses annually.


The NI ABI is conducted via a postal enquiry. The majority of respondents receive a
standard form type but derivations of this standard form exist to cover peculiarities of
certain industries. For most of these full form types there is a corresponding short form
type, which does not contain the detailed breakdowns requested on the full forms. In



                                             41
order to minimize the burden on businesses, a proportion of respondents in each size-
band receive only the short form. The proportion varies by size so that all businesses
with an employment of 250 or more, as well as a proportion of selected businesses with
lower employment will receive the long full form, and most small businesses will receive
the short form.


Forms are sent to the reporting unit which may cover one or more local units. All forms
are issued by and returned to SRB, DETI. The recently published results from the 2005
NI ABI reported an 83 per cent response rate.


How is it produced?
The SRB within DETI are responsible for conducting the NI ABI, this includes
administrating the timing and quantity of forms issued, inputting and validating the data,
and all analysis and interpretation of the data.


For non-returns above the selected employment threshold, data is imputed by taking
account of previous returned data and the performance of other similar businesses. The
returned and imputed data is at reporting unit level which may cover several local units;
this data is then apportioned to each local unit according to its industrial classification
and size-band. The local unit data is then used to gross all local units in the population.


Between 1998 and 2001, the NI data was processed as part of the ONS System; however,
since 2002, NI ABI data has been processed independently by DETI. This system is due
for review some time in 2007.


Information contained within the NI ABI
The NI ABI form asks firms to complete information for the latest calendar year although
where this is not possible returns for the business year (April – April) are accepted.
Returns covering fewer than twelve months are also accepted for those businesses which
had started or ceased trading during the reference year.




                                              42
Each of the companies surveyed are asked a series of questions and information is
gathered on the following:
      Gross value added
      Purchases of goods and services
      Total stocks (materials, stores and fuel and goods on hand for sale)
      Employment
      Employment costs (amounts paid during the year to employees without any
       deduction for income tax or employees national insurance contributions etc.)
      Total turnover
      Net capital expenditure (calculated by adding to the value of new building work,
       acquisitions less disposals of land and existing buildings, vehicles and plant and
       machinery)
      Exports
      Imports


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
The NI ABI data is published in three tables on the DETI website:
   1. By Section
   2. By Manufacturing sub-section
   3. By 2-Digit SIC breakdown (SIC 2003 from 2003 onwards)


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Sample size – the NI ABI samples 1000+ firms every year and has a relatively high
   response rate each year (approximately 85 per cent).
(b) The methodology is designed to give the best estimates for NI.
(c) As the sample is drawn from the IDBR, each firm / plant contains a unique reference
   number thus allowing linkages to be make with various other datasets.




                                           43
Limitations:
(a) While this is a vital source of information on the economic activity of plants in NI, as
   a source of labour market data, it is very limited.
(b) Given that since 2002, the NI ABI data is processed independently from ONS and
   there exist some methodological differences between the way the results for NI and
   the regions within GB are calculated, the results produced by ONS for NI for 2002
   are not consistent with those produced for 2001 when the ABI was a UK survey. For
   2002 ONS has calculated a GB regional analysis, as opposed to a UK regional
   analysis. This means there are minor discrepancies when comparing regional figures
   for 2001 and 2002.
(c) Sampling error – as with all sample surveys, the estimates derived from the sample
   will invariably produce different results from those that would have been obtained
   from a complete survey, or from a different sample. Nevertheless, sampling errors
   within the ABI are small.
(d) Not all firms receive the long form type and as a result, not every variable is available
   for each plant.


Comparisons with similar GB data
ONS produces ABI estimates for all GORs in England, and Scotland, Wales and NI. The
methodologies employed when calculating these estimates are consistent across the UK
and the estimates produced are suitable for comparisons to be made between all UK
regions. However, the NI estimates produced by DETI (available on the DETI website)
differ from the ONS NI estimates due to differences in methodology.                The DETI
methodology, while broadly comparable with that of the UK, is designed to give the best
NI estimate rather than an estimate which is consistent with the rest of the UK.


NI ABI Publications
The ABI results are published annually by DETI; the 2005 report (published December
2006) is the sixth in the series. This report contained revised NI results for 2004 and
provisional results for 2005.




                                             44
The report provides information on turnover, GVA, employment costs, purchases, net
capital expenditure.

NI ABI data is also published in excel format on the DETI website.             Results are
published by section, manufacturing sub-section and 2-Digit SIC.

Is it accessible?
NI ABI data is readily accessible on the DETI website. The data released cover the basic
variables by SIC at section level. A more detailed industrial breakdown and additional
variables are available on request (subject to confidentiality constraints). DETI also have
a facility to provide bespoke analysis relating to employment or turnover size-bands, on
request.


NI estimates are also published by ONS.


Contact Details of Producers
DETI has overall responsibility for collecting and estimating the NI ABI.          Further
information about the survey can be obtained from DETI by telephoning (028) 9052
9656, or by e-mailing abihelpline@detini.gov.uk.


Queries can also be addressed to:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast
BT4 2JP




                                            45
3.10 Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey (NIHPS)

Overview
The NIHPS is an extension of the long-running British Household Panel Survey (BHPS).
The survey aims to provide high quality, timely data on the short-term processes of
change at the individual and household level across a number of domains including
labour markets, incomes, savings and wealth, housing, health and education and training.
The NIHPS is an annual survey which largely mirrors the BHPS. Whilst the NIHPS is
currently in its sixth wave, the BHPS is now in wave 16.


Background to the NIHPS
The BHPS survey began in 1991 with the wave 1 panel consisting of some 5,500
households and 10,300 individuals drawn from 250 areas of GB. In 1999, additional
samples of 1,500 households were drawn from both Scotland and Wales and added to the
main sample. In 2001, a sample of about 2,000 households and 3,500 individuals from
NI was also added making the survey suitable for UK-wide research.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The NIHPS is conducted at annual intervals. The sample of addresses for the survey is
drawn from the LPSA list of addresses and is geographically stratified with the addresses
sorted by district council and ward. People living in institutions (though not in private
households in such institutions) are excluded. The NIHPS is household-based and seeks
to interview every adult member of each household (all persons aged 16 and over). The
questionnaire, however, is designed so that most information is collected at the individual
level rather than the household level.


The NIHPS is a panel survey and follows the same representative sample of individuals
over a period of years. The initial sample for wave 1 of the NIHPS consisted of 3,170
addresses of which 1,979 households participated. All individuals from these households
(irrespective of age) became part of the longitudinal sample and are known as Original
Sample Members (OSMs). All OSMs (regardless of whether they were interviewed at



                                            46
wave 1) remain sample members at all subsequent waves for the lifetime of the survey.
OSMs are also followed as they move between different households and those people
with whom they form new households become Temporary Sample Members (TSMs) for
as long as they live with the OSM, and providing they are aged 16 and over, are eligible
for interview. OSMs who move out of the UK also remain in the sample, although no
attempts are made to interview them until or unless they return to the UK.


How is it produced?
The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), based at the University of Essex,
is the overall project manager for both the NIHPS and the BHPS.              This ensures
consistency of survey design and methodology. However, responsibility for the running
of the NIHPS which includes conducting the fieldwork and managing the processing and
validation of the data rests with the CSU of NISRA.


There are three main parts to the NIHPS:
   Household Interview – information is collected at the household level from the
    Household Reference Person (HRP) or spouse.
   Individual Interviews – a face to face interview is conducted with all adults in the
    household aged 16 and over.
   Self-Completion Questionnaire – each member of the household aged 16 and over is
    also asked to undertake a self-completion questionnaire.


A proxy interview is used to collect information for household members unavailable at
the time of interview. A telephone questionnaire is used only as a last resort when all
efforts to achieve a face-to-face interview have failed.


A young person‟s questionnaire has also been introduced for all young people in the
household aged between 11 and 15.


The fieldwork for the NIHPS begins on the 1 st September each year. The reference year
begins on the 1st September of the previous wave year and runs up to the date of the



                                             47
interview. CSU use Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI) techniques when
conducting the NIHPS.


Information contained within the NIHPS
At each address, the HRP is asked a number of questions relating to household
accommodation, size, tenure and mortgage details, household facilities and problems and,
consumer durables.           A complete listing is made of all household members, their
relationship to the HRP, their sex, date of birth, marital status and whether they are in
paid employment.
At the individual level, questions are asked of every adult member of the household (aged
16 and over), on a number of areas including:
      Individual demographics
      Residential mobility
      Current employment and earnings
      Employment changes over the past year 27
      Education and training
      Neighborhood
      Health, limitation of activities, use of health services
      Values and opinions
      Finances


There are three components to the NIHPS:
      Core component – repeated every year.
      Rotating core component – usually repeated every 2 / 3 years and includes questions
       on Health and caring - attitude towards cost / payments for health care; Distribution
       of wealth - social justice, government's roles and responsibilities; Environment; and
       Management of household expenditures. As a result of this rotating core component,
       additional variables are added from wave to wave.
      Variable component – questions which are asked only once in the life of the panel
       study e.g. where born, age left school

27
     There are continuous measures of income and employment histories over the life of the survey


                                                     48
The short self-completion questionnaire asks about attitudes to various aspects of life, a
series of general health questions (GHQ), life satisfaction and friendship networks.


The content of the questionnaire which comprises the background household
questionnaire and the individual questionnaire is agreed in consultation with ISER and
the Advisory Committee for the NIHPS (comprising NISRA staff and local academics).


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
The NIHPS has no identifiable information for any of the respondents. The full survey
data is available for download from the UK Data Archive and can be disaggregated by a
number of variables including gender, age, employment status, work pattern, industry,
occupation etc. No geographical breakdown is available within NI.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Sample size – the NIHPS is household based and interviews every adult member in
   the sampled household. The resultant sample consists of just under 2,000 households
   and 3,500 individuals.
(b) The NIHPS follows the same representative sample of individuals – the panel – over
   a period of years thus providing a very rich source of data for longitudinal research.
(c) The NIHPS contains information on wide range of social and economic variables at
   both individual and household level thus facilitating research into a wide range of
   social science disciplines.
(d) The continuing representativeness of the survey is ensured (and loss of panel
   members is minimised) because:
       -     panel members are followed wherever they move in the UK;
       -     the panel includes new members of households formed by OSMs;
(e) The longitudinal aspect of the survey provides a better insight into causality and
   enables the user to observe trajectories (e.g. exposure to unemployment).
(f) Although the NIHPS is a household panel survey, the individuals are the real sample
   members. All individuals have a permanent identifier number (PID) that does not



                                            49
    change thereby enabling analysis of individuals over time as well as at one point in
    time.
(g) The data are directly comparable with the BHPS.


Limitations:
(a) It is a sample survey and therefore subject to sampling variability.
(b) No sub-geographical breakdown is available.         All analysis using the NIHPS is
    conducted at the regional level.
(c) There is a substantial time-lag between the point of data collection and the time the
    data becomes available – 2005 data is available this year for the first time.
(d) Discontinuity of the data – like most other surveys, as a means of improving it, there
    have been changes made to the questionnaire over time which has inevitably led to
    changes in the data.
(e) Although attrition rates between waves are relatively low there are still some cases of
    dropout at eave wave.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The NIHPS, as stated above, is an extension to the BHPS. The questionnaire is designed
in accordance with the BHPS questionnaire making the data directly comparable to the
BHPS which also includes extension samples from Wales and Scotland.


NIHPS Publications
The ISER release a small „respondent report‟ for all those who participated in NIHPS
each year. This report highlights some of the main findings of the survey and thanks the
respondents for taking part in the survey. Respondent reports for completed waves of
NIHPS can be accessed at www.csu.nisra.gov.uk/surveys/.


Is it accessible?
A special analysis unit called ARK, which is a joint initiative between Queens University
Belfast (QUB) and the University of Ulster (UU), has been commissioned by NISRA to
promote the survey and:



                                             50
    Facilitate users in their analysis of the data and work with them to develop stand-
     alone projects arising from the data
    Exploit the data for the benefit of the entire research community in NI
    Exploit the data to its maximum benefit for policy making.


ARK is based at QUB and data from the NIHPS can be obtained from ARK.


The UK dataset is available from the UK Data Archive 28.


Contact Details of Producers
CSU are responsible for conducting the fieldwork, and processing and validating the
NIHPS data. Further information about this aspect of the survey can be obtained by
telephoning       Brendan       Morgan        at        (028)   9034      8251       or     emailing
brendan.morgan@dfpni.gov.uk.


Responsibility for promotion and analysis of the NIHPS is shared between two
researchers, one based at QUB and the other at UU.


Dr Katrina Lloyd
ARK
Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research
Queens University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Tel: (028) 9027 3585
Email: K.Lloyd@qub.ac.uk


Patricia McKee
ARK
School of Economics and Politics


28
  Users must be registered with the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) to have access to the BHPS
datasets.


                                                   51
University of Ulster
Jordanstown Campus
Shore Road
Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB
Tel: (028) 9036 6353
Email: p.mckee@ulster.ac.uk




                              52
3.11 Continuous Household Survey (CHS)


Overview
The CHS is one of the largest continuous surveys carried out in NI. It is an annual survey
conducted by the CSU of NISRA from which information is collected on a wide range of
social and economic issues relevant to NI including employment status and employment
activity. The nature and aims of the CHS are similar to those of the General Household
Survey (GHS) which is carried out by the ONS in GB.


Background to the CHS
The CHS was conducted for the first time in 1983 to provide accurate information on an
ongoing basis about the social and economic conditions of the population of NI. It is an
important source of information in NI regularly used by many government departments
and agencies. The Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) are the main sponsors of
the survey.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The CHS samples approximately one per cent of households in NI each year.               A
systematic random sample of 4,500 addresses is drawn each year from the LPSA list of
domestic addresses. The LPSA addresses are sorted by district council and ward, and the
sample is drawn from a simple random sample from three strata. The first is Belfast
district council area. The other two are formed by dividing the rest of the province into
East and West along district council boundaries. Within each of these, a random sample
of addresses is selected with the size proportional to the distribution of domestic
addresses on the rating list.


The interview schedule consists of two main parts:
   Household questions – a number of questions on basic household information such as
    tenure and accommodation, consumer durables and heating and fuel arrangements.
    These questions are asked of only one person in the household.




                                           53
      Individual questions – all available adults in the household (aged 16 and over) are
       interviewed individually and asked a series of questions on things such as education,
       employment, health, marriage, children, income, benefits etc.


The information is collected by a personal interview by government trained staff from a
sample of approximately 4,500 addresses. For the 2005/06 CHS, 618 addresses were
ineligible leaving an effective sample of 3,882 of which there were 2,594 responses – a
response rate of 67 per cent.


How is it produced?
The CSU of NISRA has overall responsibility for the CHS which includes the design,
collection of data and analysis of the survey results.


The data is collected by personal interview using CAPI with the interviews being
conducted over a period of 12 months 29. The interviews are allocated on a monthly basis
and are conducted in this way so as to ensure there is no seasonal bias. In recent years a
self-completion option has been offered to respondents for those parts of the survey that
are considered to be potentially sensitive, particularly for younger respondents.


There is no weighting used for the CHS data.


Information contained within the CHS
The household questions are asked of only one person in the household, the head of the
household or their spouse, and core topics include: personal details of all family members
and their relationship to the head of the household; accommodation (type, age, number of
rooms); tenure; mortgage costs; heating and fuel; consumer durables.


All adult members of the household (aged over 16) are then interviewed individually and
information is gathered on the following:
      General variables – Age; Sex; Marital Status; Religion.

29
     Since April 1989 the survey has been conducted throughout the financial year.


                                                      54
   Employment – Occupation; Socio-Economic Group; Social Class; Industrial
    Classification – and Employment Status. Information is also collected on second
    jobs; the last occupation of those currently not in employment; hours worked; and
    fathers occupation.
   Education – Age left school / college etc; Educational Qualifications; Part-time
    education.
   Income – National insurance; State benefits
   Family information – Number of children etc.
   Adult and child health and use of health services


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Similar to the NIHPS, the CHS has no identifiable information for any of the respondents
and the data can be disaggregated by a number of variables including gender, age,
employment status etc.
The most detailed geographical disaggregation is at district council area.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Sample size – the CHS is household based and interviews every adult member in the
    sampled household. The most recent sample consists of 2,653 households.
(b) The CHS is a valuable source of information in NI thus facilitating research into a
    wide range of social science disciplines.
(c) The data are comparable with the GHS and when used in tandem with the GHS
    enables analyses of the UK as a whole as opposed to GB and NI specific analysis.


Limitations:
(a) The CHS is organized in such a way that can make any technical analysis difficult.
(b) The CHS does not enable an analysis of individual change.
(c) The CHS is a sample survey and therefore subject to sampling variability.
(d) A very limited geographical breakdown is available.




                                            55
Comparisons with similar GB data
The CHS is comparable to the GHS for GB, on which it is modelled and has a similar
content. The core topics included in both surveys are similar with some of the questions
in the CHS based on those in the GHS thereby allowing comparisons between NI and
GB.


CHS Publications
A bulletin of summary results for the most recent survey (2005/06) is published on the
CSU website every year. Other reports and publications which use the CHS are also
published here. The CSU also publishes a number of summary tables of results in excel
format from both recent and previous years of the CHS in the results section of the site.
Provisional results from the 2006/07 survey are currently available. Details of recent
questionnaires and the content of each years CHS can also be downloaded from
www.csu.nisra.gov.uk.


Is it accessible?
Data from the CHS are archived every year in the UK Data Archive who can provide
access to the data for secondary analysis. Most non-commercial registered users of the
Data Archive can download the data in a number of formats including SPSS and STATA.
The data is available free of charge to academics, teachers, and students in further and
higher education who intend to use it for not-for-profit purposes. Fees may apply to other
users.


Contact Details of Producers
CSU are responsible for the CHS in NI. Further information about the survey can be
obtained    by      telephoning   Iain   Bryson   at   (028)   9034   8246   or   emailing
iain.bryson@dfpni.gov.uk.


Details about the survey are also available by contacting:




                                             56
Central Survey Unit
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast, BT1 1SY


http://www.csu.nisra.gov.uk.




                               57
3.12 Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS)


Overview
The NILS is a large-scale data linkage study which has been created by linking
administrative and statistical data. Information from the 2001 Census, birth and death
registrations, and demographic data derived from health registrations is linked over time.
The study is managed under the Census legislation and has been designed for statistical
and research use only.


Background to the NILS
In NI, it was identified that there was an inability to link individual level data held across
Government. This is particularly important to monitor circumstances over a number of
years to determine the success, failure or need for a particular policy. Having seen the
many uses of the England and Wales Longitudinal Study (LS), which has been
successfully running since the 1971 Census, the Department of Health and the Research
and Development Office realised that there were significant benefits to be had from the
setup of an NI LS, particularly in the development of research into the effectiveness of
the Health Service in NI. It was from this that they agreed to jointly fund the setup of the
NILS.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The NILS is a data linkage study for which members are selected based on their annual
birth date. 104 dates throughout the calendar year were selected (100 unique to NI and
the 4 England and Wales LS dates). Members are selected for the study if their date of
birth coincides with one of the 104 NILS dates. In total, around 500,000 people are
included in the NILS.


How is it produced?
The NILS is created by linking a variety of administrative and statistical data, most of
which comes from the 2001 Census, General Register Office (GRO) vital events, and
demographic data derived from health registrations.



                                             58
The data collected relates to NILS members.      For each NILS member having a link to
the 2001 Census, additional information is collected for each non-NILS member living in
the same household. Vital events data and migration events are only linked to the NILS
sample members and not the non-NILS household members. Migration events are taken
from six monthly downloads from health registration data in which activity relating to
changes in address information are recorded.


Information contained within the NILS
The NILS is made up from a number of data sources, each containing a number of
variables.


The 2001 Census data provides the following information for NILS members30:
     Age, sex and marital status
     Family, household or communal establishment type
     Housing, including tenure, rooms and amenities
     Country of birth
     Ethnicity
     Educational qualifications
     Economic activity
     Occupation and social class
     Migration
     Long-standing illness
     Self-rated health
     Religion
     Care giving


Similar information is also collected for non-NILS members living in the same household
as the NILS members.



30
     See www.nisra.gov.uk


                                            59
The Vital Events (GRO) data provides the following information for NILS members
only:
   New births to the sample
   Births to sample mothers
   Births to sample fathers
   Stillbirths to sample mothers
   Stillbirths to sample fathers
   Infant mortality of children of sample mothers
   Infant mortality of children of sample fathers
   Deaths of sample members


The Migration Events (Health Card Data) provides the following information for NILS
members only:
   Immigrants into the sample
   Emigration out of NI of sample members
   Re-entries into NI after previous emigrations of sample members
   Migration within NI of sample members


VLA Data is also linked to the households of all NILS members.              This provides
information on a number of household characteristics including; number of rooms,
property type, floor space, central heating etc. as well as the capital values of each
property.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
The NILS includes data on gender, age, occupation, economic activity etc. as well as
geographical information.


In addition to the main NILS dataset, it is possible to include various area based datasets
taken from the NI Neighbourhood Statistics (NINIS) portal which can be linked in at
various geographical levels.




                                            60
Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Very large sample size compared to most other surveys or panel studies.
(b) The NILS captures information from a sample of people at various time points which
   allows researchers to analyse both ageing effects (changes over time within
   individuals) and cohort effects (differences among people).
(c) The inclusion of variables describing those living in the same household as the NILS
   members enhances the research scope of the study.
(d) Because the NILS is made up from a number of datasets for which the data is either
   collected by law or is a standard administrative function with NI, there is no
   additional burden put on sample members.
(e) Evidence from the England and Wales LS shows extremely low attrition rates and
   linkage rates for events tend to be very high.


Limitations:
(a) The NILS is not a publicly accessible dataset and much of the data held is
   confidential in nature and cannot be used in raw form.
(b) To get access to the data, users must go through quite a lengthy application process,
   at the end of which they get access only to those variables they requested and all data
   analysis must be conducted within the NILS safe-setting alongside a NILS support
   officer.
(c) Legislative requirements only permit use of the NILS for research relating to the
   health of the population.
(d) The information contained within the NILS is limited to what was collected at Census
   or event registration and therefore includes no financial information.
(e) Census information is only collected once every ten years and mostly related to
   people‟s circumstances at that time.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The NILS dataset was modelled on the England and Wales LS which has been
successfully running since the 1971 Census. This study was designed with a sample of



                                            61
around 500,000 people from the England and Wales population. A similar study, the
Scottish LS is also running in Scotland with a sample of almost 300,000 people from the
Scottish population.


In addition, other countries such as France, Denmark, Finland and the USA also have
similar programmes to the NILS thereby enabling international comparisons.


NILS Publications
All NILS working papers and research publications are due to be published at
www.nisra.gov.uk soon. The working papers will include detailed information about
how the NILS was created and linked, research access and information on research
carried out on the NILS.


Is it accessible?
The NILS dataset is a sensitive dataset and is not easily accessible. There is a step-by-
step guide to accessing the data which is managed with the minimum necessary time
delays. Due to legislative restrictions, all research conducted with the NILS must be
related to the health of the population thereby limiting its uses.
Those who do wish to use the NILS data must follow the following steps:
1) Formulate your research question – Could the NILS help to answer your question.
2) Contact the NILS support team – To help further develop your ideas.
3) Attend a training session – Either a longitudinal study methods training session or an
    information session on the NILS.
4) Complete an application form – Including details about you and your project and a
    list of variables you require.
5) Complete a NILS License Agreement – This deals with disclosure and confidentiality
    issues relating to your project and must be signed by the lead researcher and all co-
    researchers working on the project.
6) NILS Research Approvals Group (RAG) – All applications must be submitted to the
    NILS RAG who assess whether the projects should be supported and how they might
    be improved.



                                              62
7) Dataset Creation – When the project has been approved, the NILS support team will
   begin the process of creating the user-specific subset of the NILS data.
8) Analysis – The data can only be analyzed within the NILS safe-setting at McAuley
   House, Belfast and alongside a NILS support officer. Results will only be released
   from the safe setting on approval from the NILS support officer.
9) Publishing / Presenting Results – To disseminate results beyond the project team, you
   must obtain final outputs clearance from the NILS RAG by completing an Output
   Clearance Form. Clearance can take up to 15 working days.
10) Notify the NILS support team of any publications – All publications which make use
   of the NILS data are kept in a library.


Contact Details of Producers
NISRA, an Executive Agency within DFP, is responsible for maintaining and monitoring
the use of the NILS. Further information can be obtained from NISRA by telephoning
(028) 9034 8131, or by e-mailing nils.nisra@dfpni.gov.uk


Further information can also be obtained from:


Northern Ireland longitudinal Study
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast, BT1 1SA


www.nisra.gov.uk




                                             63
3.13 Labour Costs Survey


NI is included in the UK element of European Labour Costs Survey (ELCS) which is
carried out every four years under EU regulations. ONS are responsible for the survey
which, in an effort to keep costs at a minimum and relieve the form filling burden on
businesses, is produced by combining information from existing data sources and
administrative data rather than running a dedicated survey.        The survey was first
conducted in 1964 and provides information on labour costs which are not readily
available from other sources.


The main source of data for the 2000 ELCS was the NES which provided information on
wages and salaries; hours worked; paid hours; payments to employee savings schemes;
payments for days not worked; guaranteed remuneration in the event of sickness. In
addition information from the following data sources was also utilised:
   Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) for estimates of numbers of employees;
   The Inland Revenue Survey of Personal Income for wages and salaries in kind;
   The ONS's Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey for bonus payments to employees;
   The Department for Education and Skills provided data for vocational training costs;
   Data for statutory social security contributions were calculated using details provided
    by the Inland Revenue regarding the amount of National Insurance paid in
    conjunction with NES data for gross wages;
   A study by Incomes Data Services (IDS) on maternity.


All estimates in the ELCS have been produced using the above mentioned data sources
and are scaled to the population of all employees in firms with 10+ employees.


The survey aims to provide a comparative source of information about total labour costs
and its components - the non-wage elements of the costs of employing labour. Labour
costs refer to the expenditure by employers in order to employ workers, this includes
wages and salaries, pension and insurance contributions, benefits in kind, vocational




                                            64
training costs, recruitment costs etc.. The survey also covers the average number of
employees and the total hours worked and whether or not these are paid for.


To enable comparisons with other EU countries, all estimates from the UK element are
for businesses with 10 or more employees only. Data are available by industry (3-Digit
SIC level) and firm size (five different size bands) for the UK as a whole and the GORs.


The 2004 survey results are available from ONS. However, the 2000 results, published
in a summary bulletin are the most recent results available on the DETI website.


For further information about the survey contact DETI at (028) 9052 9385 or email
annemarie.scullion@detini.gov.uk. Further information can also be obtained from:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch, Room 115
Netherleigh
Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP


Further information about the UK and other regions is available from:


EC Labour Costs Enquiries
Office for National Statistics
Room D101
Government Buildings, Cardiff Road
Newport, Gwent
South Wales, NP10 8XG
Tel: +44 (0)1633 819024
Email: earnings@ons.gov.uk




                                           65
4.0    Other Surveys with Limited Employment Information


The following studies provide some, but limited labour market information. They are not
conducted with the purpose of providing up-to-date labour market data but do collect
employment information from each of the respondents.


4.1 Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey (NI OS)


Overview
The NI OS is a sample survey which is carried out on a regular basis and designed to
provide a snapshot of the lifestyle and views of the people of NI. Information on
employment is also included.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The VLA provide the sampling frame and a systematic random sample of 2,200
addresses is selected. The VLA addresses are sorted by District Council and Ward so the
sample if effectively stratified geographically. People living in institutions are excluded.


Only one person is selected to complete the questionnaire and so in order to get some
information about the number of people living at each address, interviewers will call to
each address issued in their assignments. The interviewer will then list all persons in the
household who are eligible (aged 16 or over) for inclusion in the survey and the computer
will randomly select one person who will be asked to complete the interview.


How is it produced?
The CSU of NISRA is responsible for conducting the fieldwork for the NI OS.
Addresses are issued to a panel of approximately 150 interviewers on a quarterly basis
and the fieldwork period is usually between four and six weeks.


As with all sample surveys there is a possibility of non-response bias, however, to assess
how accurately the NI OS reflects the population of NI, the sample is compared with


                                             66
characteristics of the NI population from the 2001 Census of Population, and the
achieved sample of the CHS.


Prior to analysis the achieved data is weighted in an attempt to adjust the results to those
that would have been achieved if the sample had been drawn as a random sample of
adults rather than of addresses.


Information contained within the NI OS
The NI OS has essentially two parts. The core element of the survey contains several
sections of questions which are collected in every survey, these include:
   Household composition
   Age of dwellings
   Tenure of dwelling
   Education details
   Employment details
   Personal income
   Household income
   Religion


In addition to the core questions, there are those sections of the NI OS which differ from
quarter to quarter. These questions are typically related to what issues are topical at the
time of the survey e.g. child immunisation, road safety and are provided by clients
(usually government departments) who differ on each run of the survey. The information
collected from these sections go directly to the Government bodies responsible for these
areas.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
The NI OS can be disaggregated by a number of different variables including; gender,
age, religion, socio-economic group; area (Belfast, East of the Province, West of the
Province), Urban / Rural area.




                                            67
Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Sample size – the NI OS has a relatively big sample size of 2,200.
(b) Regularity – the NI OS is conducted on a quarterly basis.
(c) Contents – The core element of the survey allows for comparisons over time while
    the non-core aspect of the survey provides a vital source of information for the
    various government bodies.


Limitations:
(a) Sampling error – like all sample surveys, estimates obtained from the NI OS will be
    subject to sampling error.
(b) The NI OS results are not available to the public but only to the clients of the survey.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The ONS carries out a similar survey in GB every month. The Omnibus Survey is a
multi-purpose survey based on interviews with a sample of about 1,800 adults per survey
month, with one adult selected from each household. Like the NI OS, questions on
particular topics can be added for one month or for longer if required.           The ONS
Omnibus Survey collects data for England, Scotland and Wales.


NI OS Publications
The CSU publish a number of reports on their website which are produced using data
from the NI OS. The reports are the result of analysis carried out by the numerous clients
who provide the majority of question blocks in each survey. These reports are also
published on the various government department websites.


Is it accessible?
The NI OS is available to clients of the survey only. The content of the survey is set on a
demand basis and the data becomes the property of the clients (who set the questions).
Clients can receive statistical output and databases or both, and can publish the results
themselves.



                                             68
Contact Details of Producers
For further information about the NI OS contact Rita McAuley at (028) 9034 8221 or
email rita.mcauley@dfpni.gov.uk or alternatively contact Barbara Muldoon at (028) 9034
8231 or email barbara.muldoon@dfpni.gov.uk.


Details about the survey are also available by contacting:


Central Survey Unit
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast, BT1 1SY


http://www.csu.nisra.gov.uk.




                                            69
4.2 Census of Population (CoP)


Overview
The CoP is carried out every 10 years by the Census Office for NI (CONI). It is a
population count classified according to a number of characteristics including
employment details for all adults aged over 16. The census is undertaken by law and in
accordance with an EC directive. It provides the essential statistical information about the
population and households for all parts of NI and is used by Government, businesses and
other professional research / consultancy organisations.


How is it produced?
A census is a major undertaking and much time, effort and resources are devoted to it.
The 2001 Census was taken on Sunday 29 th April 2001 and prior to this, over 3000
Census field staff distributed approximately 600,000 census forms to every household
and communal establishment in NI. These forms are then returned by post to the Census
Office. A telephone and email helpline was also set up to assist the public with any
difficulties they had in completing the form.


Information contained within the CoP
The NI CoP collects information from over 600,000 households and approximately 1.7
million people. The NI Census Area Statistics consist of 86 pre-planned cross-tabular
outputs covering a variety of Census variables including:


Demography: People, Family and Households
   Age and Sex
   Living Arrangements
   Country of Birth
Health and Care
Education, Employment and Economic Activity
   Highest Level of Qualification
   Economic Activity



                                            70
   Occupation
   Industry
   Socio-economic Classification
   Social Grade
   Method of Travel to Work
Housing and Transport
   Access to a Car or Van
   Tenure and Accommodation Type
   Central Heating and Occupancy Rating
Irish Language


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
The NI CoP statistics are available for NI level, District Council Area, Electoral Ward
Level, Output Area Level, Health & Social Services Boards, Education & Library
Boards, NUTS III Regions, and Parliamentary Constituencies. For each geographical
unit, the data can also be disaggregated by gender and age group.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The CoP is statutory and contains information on a number of different variables as
    well as employment information for all adults aged over 16 in NI.
(b) Comparability – the NI CoP uses similar methodologies to the Census in England and
    Wales, and Scotland.


Limitations:
(a) The CoP is only conducted every ten years.
(b) The CoP contains only basic information about employee jobs (which is now out of
    date) and so is not designed to enable any detailed analysis of the NI labour market.




                                            71
Comparisons with similar GB data
Under the authority of the respective Registrar Generals, England and Wales, and
Scotland carried out separate Censuses on the same day and using similar methodologies
as the NI CoP.       However, there are currently plans being put in place to conduct
Censuses simultaneously throughout the UK in 2011 with the aim being to promote UK
harmonization and to produce consistent and coherent outputs for the UK and for each
component country.      A number of UK-wide committees are currently working to
consider different areas of census development where common methodologies and
approaches can be adopted.


CoP Publications
Given the volume of information involved, the tables from the Census are produced in
electronic format only (i.e. no printed report is produced) and can be accessed on the
NISRA website, or through a specifically developed CD Product.


Is it accessible?
Data from the NI CoP are readily available at
www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/Census/start.html.


Contact Details of Producers
Further information about the Census can be obtained from Census Customer Services by
telephoning (028) 9034 8160 or emailing census.nisra@dfpni.gov.uk. Queries can also
be addressed to:


Census Customer Services
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast, BT1 1SA




                                           72
4.3 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI)


Overview
The SPI is based on information held by the Inland Revenue tax offices on people who
could be liable to UK tax. It is an annual survey conducted by the Inland Revenue and
covers the income assessable for tax in each tax year. Information from the survey is
used to asses whether people have paid the correct amount of tax.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The sample survey is based on information held by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
tax offices. Samples are selected from three HMRC operational IT systems, which are as
follows:
COP: this covers all employees and occupational or personal pension recipients with a
   PAYE record;
CESA: this covers the self assessment (SA) population; those with self-employment, rent
   or untaxed investment income, directors and other people with complex tax affairs or
   very high incomes (over £100k). Some people have both a COP and a CESA record.
Claims: this covers people without COP or CESA records who have had too much tax
   deducted at source and claim repayment.


The sampling fraction from the COP data varies from about 1 in 10 for individuals with
high incomes and rare allowances to about 1 in 200 for people with low combined pay
and pensions. The sampling fraction from the CESA data also varies from 1 in 1 for
cases with very high incomes to about 1 in 400 for employees and occupational
pensioners with smaller tax liabilities. A sampling fraction of about 1 in 70 is used to
select the remainder of the sample from the Claims database. A random sample is drawn
from each grouping.


The most recent sample size for the 2004-05 tax year was approximately 520,000.




                                           73
How is it produced?
The SPI is created from a compilation of existing material held by the HMRC. Data is
collected from each of the three constituent parts of the sample outlined above and the
datasets are appended together.
As with all sample surveys estimates from the SPI also have a sampling error attached to
them.


Information contained within the SPI
The dataset contains a range of variables about taxable personal incomes arising from
   Employment
   Self-employment
   Pensions
   Benefits
   Property
   Savings and investments
   Other income sources
The data also contains variables about allowances, deductions and relief‟s which people
may be due. There is also a regional code variable and a trade code for cases of self-
employment.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Data cover the UK and are available at country, county, GOR, and parliamentary
constituency. However, the lower the level of analysis used, the larger the standard
errors.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Data from the SPI covers the UK and can be disaggregated for lower geographical
    levels.
Limitations:
(a) Estimates from the SPI are subject to sampling error.



                                            74
(b) The SPI is a UK wide survey and not specific to NI.
(c) The SPI is not designed to enable any detailed analysis of the NI labour market.


SPI Uses
The main purpose of the SPI is to cost proposed changes to tax rates, personal allowances
and other tax reliefs for Treasury Ministers. It is also used in the making of policy
decisions, for tax modeling and forecasting purposes, to provide information for National
Accounts that are prepared by ONS and to provide information to Members of
Parliament, other government departments and other groups.


Publications
Any persons wishing to publish material that includes analyses from the SPI musts
submit the publication (e.g. as in presentation to a conference or seminar; or the report) to
the Inland Revenue at least a month before distribution.


Is it accessible?
The data is deposited on the UK Data Archive.              Users must complete a special
undertaking form and register with the Data Archive before receiving a copy of the data
files. HMRC may be informed about usage.


Contact Details of Producers
For further information about the SPI contact Adrian Tuff at +44 (0)20 7147 2917.
Requests can also be addressed to:


Adrian Tuff
KAI: Information Centre: Analysis & IT
HM Revenue & Customs
Room 1C/19
100 Parliament Street
Westminster
London, SW1A 2BQ



                                             75
4.4 Interdepartmental Business Register


Overview
The IDBR contains information on all businesses in NI (and UK wide) which are VAT
registered or operating a PAYE scheme.       It covers most of the economy including
agriculture, production and the service sectors. It does not include very small businesses
which fall below the VAT / PAYE thresholds. The IDBR provides information on the
number, size and structure of businesses in NI and is used for government statistical
purposes and provides a sampling frame for the majority of surveys carried out by ONS
and all government departments.


How is it produced?
SRB, DETI are responsible for maintaining the IDBR in NI. The main administrative
sources for the IDBR are the HM Customs and Excise for VAT information and Inland
Revenue for PAYE information. HM Customs and Excise send ONS weekly information
on VAT registrations and de-registrations and once a month a list of „births‟ is forwarded
to DETI. Similarly, Inland Revenue send ONS quarterly information on all PAYE
schemes operating in the UK and DETI receive a list of those that are births in NI. From
these lists, DETI continually „prove‟ new businesses in NI by issuing approximately
5,000 forms per annum to such businesses requesting industry and employment details
and thereby proving their existence for statistical purposes. Additional forms are also
issued as and when the IDBR section of DETI becomes aware of new businesses
opening, from sources such as the media and local knowledge. Upon approval, these
businesses are immediately available for selection for various government statistical
surveys.


The IDBR is updated daily to reflect up-to-date information. Employee figures for NI
held on IDBR come from two main sources (i) the biennial COE, and (ii) regular and
miscellaneous „proving‟ exercises.




                                           76
Information contained within the IDBR
The IDBR is a business register and the main data held for each business are: name;
address; SIC 2003; number of employees; employment; and turnover.                Additional
information includes: legal status; parent company information; country of ownership
details.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Data from the IDBR are available at the Business Level (reporting unit); Local Unit
(work site) Level; and by 5-Digit SIC 2003.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The IDBR covers all VAT and PAYE registered firms.
(b) It includes information on turnover, ownership and employment.

Limitations:
(a) The IDBR is not always up-to-date.
(b) No backdated information in available from IDBR.
(c) The IDBR is not used as a source of labour market information or as a source of
    information in itself but is mainly used as a sampling frame for all government
    surveys.


Is it accessible?
The IDBR data can be used by Central Government (for statistical and analytical
purposes) and research organisations under contract from government. All data must be
non-disclosive so as not to enable the identification of an individual business. All figures
are therefore rounded to the nearest 5. Where the count is less than 20, employment /
employee / turnover figures will be removed.




                                            77
Contact Details of Producers
For further information about the IDBR contact SRB at (028) 9052 9228 or (028) 9052
9505, or email seana.mcilwaine@detini.gov.uk. Further information can also be obtained
from:


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Statistics Research Branch,
Room 110
Netherleigh, Massey Avenue
Belfast, BT4 2JP


http://www.statistics.detini.gov.uk/


Information regarding the UK IDBR is also available via the following link.
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=933




                                           78
4.5 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NI LTS)


Overview / Background
The NI LTS is an annual survey which aims to monitor the attitudes, values and beliefs of
the people in NI on a wide range of social and policy issues. The survey is a direct
descendant of the NI Social Attitudes (NISA) Survey which ran from 1989 to 1996
alongside the British Social Attitudes Survey. The NI LTS was launched in October
1998 and is funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
(OFMDFM), Equality Commission for NI, The Electoral Commission, Economics and
Social Research Council (ESRC) and Department for Employment and Learning. The
survey was set up by QUB and UU and is maintained by ARK.


Sampling Frame / Sample Size
The NI LTS was designed to yield a representative sample of men and women aged 18
and over living in NI. The Postal Address File (PAF) provides the sampling frame. To
ensure an adequate representation of those areas of lower population density, the PAF is
stratified into three geographic regions (Belfast, East of the Bann and West of the Bann)
and a simple random sample of addresses is then selected. The survey requires only one
person (aged 18 or over) at each selected address to complete an interview; the person
whose birthday is next is selected to be the subject of the survey.


The 2005 NI LTS involved 1,200 face-to-face interviews with adults aged 18 years or
over. In previous years, the number of respondents was 1,800; however problems in
securing funding for the survey meant the number of respondents had to be reduced.


A slightly larger than necessary sample is selected in order to provide reserve addresses
so as to ensure optimal response from the main sample.


How is it produced?
ARK has overall responsibility for the NI LTS. Selected households are sent an advance
letter which explains the background to the survey, outlines the method by which an



                                             79
individual respondent is selected from the household, and requests co-operation with the
project.


The fieldwork is conducted between October and January each year by Research and
Evaluation Services (RES). All interviews are conducted in the respondents‟ homes.
Interviewers will make a maximum of five calls before the person is deemed to be non-
obtainable. Only at this point, or if they have already received a refusal, will they be
issued with reserve addresses. The main interview is carried out using CAPI and the
respondent is also asked to complete a self completion questionnaire. This is either
completed and handed back to the interviewer at the time of the main interview, or the
interviewer will call back at a later stage to collect it.


Information contained within the NI LTS
The NI LTS consists of a number of different modules, each based on a specific module.
The modules included in the 2005 survey (the most recent available) are:
   Background information on the respondents - including: age, sex, religion, marital
    status, economic activity, social class
   Health issues and complementary medicine
   Political attitudes and democratic participation
   Community relations
   Attitudes to minority ethnic people
   Gender and family roles


All users of the data conducting their own statistical analysis must use the weighting
variable provided with the data in order to allow for disproportionate household size. The
only exceptions are the few household variables (for example, tenure and household
income), which do not need to be weighted.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
Results from the NI LTS are published on the NILT website with frequencies for every
question and a breakdown by age, gender and religion on offer.



                                                80
Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The NI LTS is a freely available data source containing information on a number of
   different variables.


Limitations:
(a) The NI LTS has a relatively small sample size.
(b) The survey contains limited labour market information thereby prohibiting any
   detailed analysis of the NI labour market.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The NI LTS is a direct descendent of the NISA which was a sister survey to the British
Social Attitudes Survey (BSA).       By running the same modules as BSA, the NISA
provided a time-series of social attitudes allowing comparisons with Britain. However,
new political arrangements in NI led to an agreement that the new NI LTS would be
better served by cutting its links with its British counterpart. The NI LTS is largely NI
focused and is designed to be used by the wider public in NI. It carries on the tradition of
a time-series of attitudes but has shifted the focus away from comparisons with Britain.
Nevertheless, every year the survey includes a substantial component which either
continues an old NISA time-series, or replicates a BSA module.


NI LTS Publications / Is it accessible?
The NI LTS is a freely available resource to the general public. Data is available from
the NI LTS website (www.ark.ac.uk/nilt) approximately six months from the end of the
fieldwork. The datasets and technical information are also available from the UK Data-
Archive.


All users of the data are asked to contact the NILT team with details of how the findings
are used and provide copies or links to reports or articles.




                                             81
Contact Details of Producers
Further information about the NI LTS can be found at www.ark.ac.uk/nilt or by
contacting:


Paula Devine
ARK
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN


Tel: (028) 9097 3034
Email: p.devine@qub.ac.uk


Or:
Katrina Lloyd,
ARK
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN


Tel: (028) 9097 3585
Email: k.lloyd@qub.ac.uk




                                         82
5.0    Sector Specific Data


This section of the report lists the various sector specific datasets which are also
available.   The data are specific to the health and education sectors and are simply a
count of the staff employed within each occupation.


5.1 NIHPSS Workforce Census


The DHSSPS in NI produce an annual workforce census relating to staff employed
within the Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) in NI. This data is provided by 5
Health Service Trusts, the Ambulance Service and other organisations within the HPSS.
Various workforce statistics are produced on a regular basis. The annual Workforce
Census gives information about numbers of staff employed by specialism and locations
within the Health Service.


There are two publications each year – the full Census Report and a Key Facts Bulletin.
The aim of which is to provide a specific breakdown of HPSS workforce data and key
summary points. The Bulletin is issued to Parliament, MLAs, HPSS organisations and
colleagues within the Department. The information contained in this Bulletin is used for a
number of purposes, including informing policy makers, supplying information to other
government departments and enabling effective workforce planning. Consequently, to
ensure that the Department‟s information is accurate, high data quality standards need to
be achieved and maintained by all HPSS organisations.


The workforce census is available for download from www.dhsspsni.gov.uk


Further information can be obtained by telephoning (028) 9052 2509 or emailing
workforcestatistics@dhsspsni.gov.uk.


Project Support Analysis Branch
Information Analysis Directorate


                                           83
Department of Health and Personal Social Services
Castle Buildings,
Stormont
Belfast, BT4 3SQ


5.2 Workforce Statistics relating to staff employed within the Primary Care Sector


Workforce Statistics relating to staff employed within the Primary Care Sector are also
available via a link from the DHSSPS NI website.


These statistics are available from the Information and Research Unit, within the Family
and Practitioner Services (FPS) Unit of the Central Services Agency (CSA) which aims
to provide support, information and advice to both internal and external customers in
relation to the provision of General Medical, Dental, Ophthalmic and Pharmaceutical
services.


Information and Research Unit publishes annual statistics on:
      The number of Dentists and Dental Assistants
      The number of GPs - by Gender, Board and Age Range
      The number of Opthalmic Medical Practicioners and Optometrists
      The number of Pharmacists


An Annual Statistics Report is also published.


The    primary      care   workforce   statistics   are   available   for   download      via
http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/work_force.htm


Further information can be obtained by telephoning (028) 9053 5589 or emailing
infounit@csa.n-i.nhs.uk.


Information and Research Unit



                                             84
Family Practitioner Services Directorate
Central Services Agency
2 Franklin Street
Belfast, BT2 8DQ


5.3 Teacher Numbers


The Department of Education (DE) in NI collects statistics on teacher numbers every
year. Teacher numbers in nursery, primary, secondary, controlled grammar and special
schools is extracted from the Teachers‟ Payroll and Pensions Administration System and
verified with the individual schools. Data for teachers working in voluntary grammar
schools is collected in an annual statistical return.


The data is based on a reference week in the autumn term and covers all grant-aided
schools in NI – approximately 1300 schools.


Teacher numbers are expressed as full-time equivalents (FTE) and part-time hours are
converted on the basis of a 32.4 hour week. Substitute teachers and peripatetic teachers
are excluded from the calculation.


The data are published on the DE website at www.deni.gov.uk. FTE numbers are
available by school management type, school sector and area board. However, upon
request, teacher numbers are also available by Age, Sex, Type of contract (permanent,
part-time, pro-rata etc.) and Hours worked (for part-time / pro-rata).


Further inquiries about these statistics can be directed to Mrs Christine Bowden at (028)
9127 9985 or at:


Statistics Research Branch
Department of Education
Rathgael House



                                              85
Balloo Road
Bangor, BT19 7PR




                   86
6.0    Migrant Labour Statistics


The ever enlarging European Union (EU) has invoked significant interest in the levels of
international migration, in particular, migrant labour, to the UK and NI. This section of
the report will look at the number of administrative / statistical sources used by NISRA to
provide information on the number of foreign nationals applying to work in NI.


6.1 Home Office Worker Registration Scheme


Overview
In May 2004, 10 countries joined the EU. Following accession, nationals of Malta and
Cyprus have had full free movement rights and rights to work throughout the EU.
However, access to labour markets by nationals of the other eight countries – the
„Accession 8‟ or „A8‟ is regulated by the existing EU member states.              Prior to
enlargement, the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) was put in place by the UK
Government, to regulate A8 nationals‟ access to the labour market, and to restrict access
to benefits. The most recent countries to join the EU in January 2007, Bulgaria and
Romania are also subject to restrictions.


How is it produced?
The WRS is managed by the Home Office and is used to formally register migrant
workers. Nationals of the A8 countries who wish to take up employment in the UK for a
period of at least a month are generally required to register with the WRS. The figures
measure only those entering employment as workers who are self-employed do not need
to register and are therefore not included in the figures. Other exceptions include A8
nationals legally living and working in the UK for one year prior to May 2004 and A8
nationals temporarily working in the UK for an A8 based employer.


The data from the WRS relate to applicants to the scheme rather than applications.
Applicants must register more than once if they are employed by more than one




                                            87
employer; they must also re-register if they change employer. Each application to the
WRS therefore represents one job, not one applicant.


WRS data are recorded according to the location of the employer rather than the
residential address of the applicant.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
NI WRS registrations are available by quarter; by district council area within NI; by
nationality; and, by gender and age group.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) The WRS is the formal register in the UK for migrant workers from the new EU
   countries.
(b) Updated statistics are available quarterly.


Limitations:
(a) The WRS statistics do not include the self-employed.
(b) There may be workers from the accession countries who for one reason or another do
   not register and are thus not included in the figures.
(c) The WRS measure gross in-flows of migrant workers and there is no requirement to
   de-register on leaving the country.
(d) Double counting of applicants is possible as individuals are required to re-register if
   they change employer. Users of the data must remember that each WRS represents
   one job, not one applicant.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The WRS is managed by the Home Office and covers all of the UK. The information
available for NI is therefore available for the UK as a whole, Scotland and Wales.
Comparisons are therefore possible.




                                             88
Publications
The Home Office publishes the Accession Monitoring Report with updated statistics
every quarter.
NISRA have also published a report “Long-Term International Migration Estimates for
NI (2004-05) – Sources and Methodology” which contains WRS statistics for NI.


Is it accessible?
NI WRS statistics are readily available at www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk 31


Contact Details of Producers
The figures published at www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk are derived from the Home Office:
Immigration and Nationality Directorate. For more information contact Mahesh Trivedi
at Mahesh.TRIVEDI@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.


Information can also be obtained from Dr. David Marshall, Principal Statistician in the
Demography & Methodology Branch (DMB), NISRA.


Telephone: (028) 9034 8155 Ext. 67155,
Email: david.marshall@dfpni.gov.uk


Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Demography & Methodology Branch
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast
BT1 1SA




31
     http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/mapxtreme/DataCatalogue.asp?button=Population


                                                   89
6.2 New National Insurance Number Registrations.


Overview
National Insurance Numbers (NINos) are required for employment purposes or to claim
benefits and tax credits. In NI, the Social Security Agency (SSA) has responsibility for
the allocation of NINos and the associated security checks to foreign nationals.


How is it produced?
Foreign nationals living in NI must apply to their local SSA or Jobs and Benefits Office
for the issue of a NINo. An interview is arranged at which an application form is
completed and the relevant documentation examined. The SSA must undertake checks to
ensure that the applicant has not previously been allocated a NINo. The NINo is then
allocated and the relevant documentation is forwarded to HMRC to undertake further
quality checks and sample tracing to ensure duplicate registrations do not exist and the
information is accurate. HMRC then add the new person on the National Insurance
Recording System and arrange for the issue of the NINo card.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
NI NINo registrations for non-UK nationals are available by district council area within
NI; by nationality; and, by gender and age group.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) Unlike the WRS, NINo applications are available for all overseas nationals, not just
   those coming from A8 countries.


Limitations:
(a) People can also apply for NINos after starting work so figures refer to the date of
   registration, not the date of arrival.




                                            90
(b) NINo applicants are not required to surrender their number if they leave employment
       or, leave NI so figures do not necessarily represent the number of people who are
       currently employed.
(c) Unlike the WRS, data are recorded according to the address of the applicant rather
       than the address of the employer.
(d) The figures also include those nationals from the Republic of Ireland who enter NI to
       work.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The NINo registration statistics in NI are supplied by the SSA and relate to registrations
with the HMRC on the National Insurance Recording System. Throughout the rest of the
UK, Job Centre Plus which is part of the DWP has responsibility for allocating NINos to
foreign nationals. Similar information therefore exists for Scotland and Wales and the
UK as a whole thus allowing comparisons to be made.


Publications
The main NINo registration statistics in NI are published by the Department for Social
Development (DSD) at www.dsdni.gov.uk32.                   Regional NINo data is also published
quarterly in the Accession Monitoring Report by the Home Office.


NINo registration statistics are also published by NISRA in their report “Long-Term
International Migration Estimates for NI (2004-05) – Sources and Methodology”.


Is it accessible?
NINo registration statistics for NI are available from the DSD Report “NINo Allocations
to Overseas Nationals Entering NI”.


Contact Details of Producers
All enquiries relating to the number of NINo allocations to overseas nationals entering NI
should be directed to Melissa Steed at DSD.

32
     http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/nino_allocations_to_overseas_nationals_entering_ni.pdf


                                                    91
Telephone: (028) 9081 9958
e-mail: melissa.steed@dsdni.gov.uk


Melissa Steed
Statistics & Consultancy Branch (DSD),
Level 4, James House,
2- 4 Cromac Avenue,
Gasworks Business Park,
Ormeau Road, Belfast,
BT7 2JA


6.3 Home Office Work Permits


Overview
Work permits are issued by Work Permits (UK) which is part of the Home Office‟s
Immigration and Nationality Directorate. A work permit relates to a specific person and a
specific job. The work permit scheme lets UK employers recruit or transfer people from
outside the European Economic Area (EEA), while still protecting the interests of
resident workers in the UK. There are six different types of work permits.


How are they issued?
Applications for work permits can only be made by UK-based employers on behalf of the
person they wish to employ. A work permit is not general permission to work in the UK;
it is specific to the employer who applied for it. There is no provision within the current
arrangements for individuals to apply on their own behalf.

To obtain a work permit, employers must submit an application on the appropriate form
enclosing the appropriate fee. Once the work permit has been approved, the individual
(and any dependants) will be required to apply for entry clearance to their nearest British
Diplomatic Post in their country of residence before travelling to the UK.




                                            92
A8 Nationals do not need to apply for a work permit – they are processed through the
WRS scheme.


The Work Permit statistics are the result of aggregated data taken from registrations by
employers to recruit or transfer people from outside the EEA.


To what extent is it possible to disaggregate the data?
NI work permit data is available by quarter; by district council area within NI; by
nationality; and by gender.


Quality Issues – Strengths and Limitations
Strengths:
(a) There are six different types of work permits so government officials can get an idea
   of the numbers of foreign nationals coming to the UK / NI for work, training or work
   experience.
(b) The quality of the data is very good.


Limitations:
(a) The figures might double count employees who have moved jobs and gained another
   permit.
(b) There is no requirement to de-register if the worker leaves the country.


Comparisons with similar GB data
The Work Permit Scheme is managed by the Home Office and covers all of the UK. The
information available for NI is therefore available for the UK as a whole, Scotland and
Wales. Comparisons are therefore possible.


Publications
NI work permit data is published by NISRA in their report “Long-Term International
Migration Estimates for NI (2004-05) – Sources and Methodology”.




                                            93
Figures are also published at www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk


Is it accessible?
NI work permit statistics are readily available at www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk 33


Contact Details of Producers
The figures published at www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk are derived from the Home Office:
Immigration and Nationality Directorate. For more information contact Tony Venables
at Tony.Venables@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.


Further information may also be obtained from Dr. David Marshall at NISRA.


Telephone: (028) 9034 8155 Ext. 67155,
Email: david.marshall@dfpni.gov.uk


Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
McAuley House
2-14 Castle Street
Belfast
BT1 1SA


6.4 Survey of Migrant Jobseekers Calling in DEL Offices


Overview
In June 2006 DEL carried out a survey in DEL Jobs and Benefits Offices (JBOs) and Job
Centres (JCs) to ascertain the level of traffic from migrant jobseekers. The survey was
carried out over a 10 day period and just over 500 migrant jobseekers were included.




33
     http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/mapxtreme/DataCatalogue.asp?button=Population


                                                   94
Methodology
A questionnaire was developed for use by DEL staff for migrants presenting themselves
at JBOs / JCs. Only those persons visiting the front counter, who had identification of
migrant status, were interviewed. For this study, migrants are defined as those persons
born outside the British Isles.    The survey was conducted over a 10 day period
commencing on Wednesday 21 June 2006.


Key Findings
Over the 10 day period, a total of 512 migrant jobseekers were recorded as presenting at
JBOs / JCs. All but four offices had migrant callers during the survey period. The
highest number of migrants were recorded in Dungannon and Connor Buildings which
together accounted for one third of all callers. Around 71 per cent of the migrant callers
were from the A8 countries, 21 per cent from other EU countries and 8 per cent from
elsewhere. Most offices followed this same pattern.
The number of migrant jobseekers is presented by JBO / JC. The Area of Origin is also
presented by JBO / JC. The nationality of the migrant jobseekers was also recorded; 46
per cent of which were polish nationals.


Contact Details of Producers
For further information about this survey contact Dave Rogers, Principal Statistician at
DEL by telephoning (028) 9025 7510 or emailing Dave.Rogers@delni.gov.uk.


Department for Employment and Learning
Research and Evaluation Branch,
Adelaide House,
39-49 Adelaide Street,
Belfast
BT2 8FD




                                           95
7.0     Labour Market Forecasts


A majority of EU countries are facing labour and skill shortages in various sectors, along
with high rates of unemployment and so it is now common practice for Governments and
policy makers to try to predict how the demand for skilled labour is likely to change over
time. If applied correctly, sufficiently disaggregated employment forecasts not only
provide some occupational guidance for new labour market entrants but also address the
need or potential for occupational mobility for those already in a job or those seeking to
re-enter the labour market. Labour market forecast models are also used as a guide for
policy makers when evaluating the effectiveness of current labour market policies in
meeting targets, and, instituting changes in policies. However, users must bear in mind
that forecasts can never be definitive.


7.1 Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF)

OEF is one of the leading forecasting houses in the world, providing high quality,
quantitative analysis and evidence-based business and public policy advice.                      OEF,
together with Regional Forecasts Limited (RFL) 34, a division of OEF, provide detailed
analysis and briefings on UK economic developments and prospects at a macro, sectoral
and regional level. All forecasts are linked in to the numerous set of world, industry and
macro forecasts also produced by OEF, thus ensuring a consistent and proven framework
in which to set regional and sub-regional analysis.

7.1.1 The UK Regional Model

The Regional Model is produced by RFL is conjunction with OEF and provides detailed
forecasts for up to ten years ahead for the GORs of the UK, including NI. The model was
originally developed by Graham Gudgin while at the University of Cambridge and in
1985 became the basis for the UK‟s first regional industrial forecasting service. The
forecasts cover a range of indicators including:

34
 RFL is a specialised consultancy company delivering high grade economic analysis and forecasting.
RFL is the Belfast office of OEF.


                                                  96
      Employment (broken down into 26 sectors)
      GDP (broken down into 24 sectors)
      Personal income – Wages; Income; Expenditure
      House prices
      Demographics – Population; Migration
      Rents – Office; Industrial

These forecasts are updated every 6 months and the results are published in the Regional
Economic Outlook publication twice a year – Spring and Autumn. This publication is
available for subscribers only via a secure area of the OEF website. However, forecast
results from the Regional Model can be purchased from OEF (RFL).

7.1.2 Northern Ireland Economy Monitoring and Forecasting – The New Northern
Ireland Policy Simulation (NIPS) Model

In 2002, the Economic Development Forum (EDF) published a report „Working Together
for a Stronger Economy‟ which set a number of targets for prosperity for the year 2010.
RFL were then commissioned to carry out quarterly monitoring and forecasting of these
targets to provide an early warning of the likelihood of targets not being met. In order to
do this, RFL developed a substantially new model of the NI economy – the NIPS model.
The NIPS model builds on the existing forecasting model for UK regional economies
(developed by RFL in conjunction with OEF) and provides annual forecasts for a wide
set of economic variables including output and employment by sector, as well as, inward
investment, new company formation, expenditure on R&D and skill levels.

The NIPS model, the first policy simulation model developed for NI, is linked into the
Multi-Regional-Model (MRM) (also constructed by RFL and OEF), and thus the
hierarchy of macro-economic forecasting models run by OEF. This hierarchical structure
ensures that the NI forecasts are consistent with the other forecasts produced by
RFL/OEF for the UK regions. The NIPS is described as a unique and groundbreaking
tool to assist policymakers.




                                            97
The NIPS model produces forecasts for employment (and self-employment) and, the
economically active population. Unemployment is calculated as the difference between
the number of economically active people and the number of employed and self-
employed.    The NIPS also facilitates comparative analysis with other UK regions /
countries.

This model is funded by DETI, DEL, OFMDFM and DFP and has been utilized by
central and local government in NI in recent years for a range of projects. A summary
article was published in the DETI „Northern Ireland Economic Bulletin 2005‟ and can be
downloaded from www.detini.gov.uk.

Forecast results from the NIPS can be purchased from OEF (RFL).

7.1.3 Local Model of Administrative Districts (LOMAD)

OEF recently developed a NI Local Forecast Model of Administrative Districts
(LOMAD). It is understood that no other organisation has developed a comparable
model capable of forecasting economic and demographic outlooks at district council level
in NI. LOMAD is the forecast model used by Belfast City Council and has also been
used for labour market forecasts for Derry City Council and a socio-economic profiling
study for Armagh City and District Council and Cookstown District Council. LOMAD
uses the well-established NIPS Model as its basis.


LOMAD holds detailed historical data (in some cases back to 1980) and forecasts (up to
2020) at district council level for a wide range of indicators including:


   -   Population
   -   Employees (by 15 sectors – people and jobs)
   -   Self-employment (by 9 sectors)
   -   Unemployment
   -   Gross value added output (by 14 sectors – consistent with NUTS 3 data, this is the
       only source of district council level GVA)



                                             98
   -   Productivity (9 sectors)
   -   Occupational structure (9 groups – resident and workplace-based)
   -   Commuting (9 occupational groups)
   -   Tourism (trips and spend)
   -   VAT registered businesses (4 sectors – new registrations, closures and stocks)
   -   House prices
   -   Wages (resident and workplace-based)
The model can also be developed to add other indicators of specific interest.


Forecast results from the LOMAD can be purchased from OEF (RFL).

7.1.4 Occupational Forecasts and Replacement Demand in Northern Ireland

As part of the DEL research agenda, RFL were commissioned to provide occupational
forecasts and undertake replacement demand forecasts for NI. These forecasts are based
on a new model of the NI economy developed by RFL which provides annual
employment projections for 24 separate occupation groups for each year covering the
period 2005-2015. These forecasts can provide an early warning system for potential
changes in NI‟s occupational structure and a measure of the scale of likely job vacancies
in each occupation caused by labour turnover as well as by the expansion or contraction
of demand for particular occupations. In addition, to assist DEL in planning training
needs, RFL have also developed replacement demand forecasts for NI. Replacement
Demand refers to the net requirement for employees in each occupation over time and is
driven by factors such as retirements, people temporarily leaving the labour force, inter-
occupational movements and migration. This, added to the expansion or contraction of
demand for each occupation, provides estimates of the likely number of vacancies for
each occupation between 2005 and 2015.


This research report was published by DEL in May 2006 and can be accessed via the
following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/occforecasts.pdf




                                            99
For further information about any of the above forecasts contact Kerry Hazley at Oxford
Economics (RFL) by telephoning (028) 9268 1131, or email khazley@regfor.com.


Regional Forecasts Ltd
10 The Chimes
Hillsborough
Co. Down
BT26 6AJ


7.2 The Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER)


IER is one of Europe‟s leading centres for research in the labour market field. One of its
specialisms is labour market forecasting. IER is committed to developing projections
using the best data and methods available and making the process of forecasting as
transparent and straightforward as possible to users.


The institute can provide employment projections tailored to the client‟s individual
requirements. The main dimensions available are as follows:
      Industries (up to 41 sectors (SIC2003)) plus Sector Skills Council footprints
      Gender
      Work pattern (full-time, part-time, self-employed)
      Region (12 Standard regions inc. NI)
      Occupation (25 sub-major groups (SOC2000))


The institute has also developed models which enable the production of projections
distinguishing:
      Qualifications
      Generic and key skills
      Age
      Temporary work




                                            100
In 2005, IER was commissioned by the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) and
the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to update earlier forecasts. This work, „Working
Futures II‟ provides detailed projections of employment by gender, sector, occupation,
and qualification for all regions of the UK. Projections are made to the year 2014 and the
results for NI were published in the DEL, Labour Market Bulletin (LMB) 19. The full
report „Working Futures 2004-2014 – Spatial Report‟ is available to download from
www.ssda.org.uk.
For further information about IER Forecasting Services, contact Dr Rob Wilson at +44
(0)2476 523530 or email r.a.wilson@warwick.ac.uk.


Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7AL


7.3 Cambridge Econometrics


Cambridge Econometrics (CE) are specialists in economic modelling and forecasting
who offer a consultancy capability to apply economic modelling and data analysis to a
wide range of policy and business needs. Specifically, CE offers expertise in developing
models of the district, regional and national economies to provide short and medium term
forecasts of unemployment and other labour market indicators of interest.

CE produce UK regional forecasts using their Multisectoral Dynamic Model (MDM) and
intelligence gathered from a network of regional experts. The MDM covers the nine
English GORs plus Wales, Scotland and NI and provides annual projections to the year
2020 for GVA, employment, income, spending, investment, unemployment, migration,
population, housing starts and number of households. Forecast results are available for
30 different industries. The MDM is the largest model of the UK economy and adopts
the „bottom-up‟ approach by adding regional projections together, and, as a result does
not suffer from the discrepancies between regional and macro totals. The forecasts are



                                           101
produced twice a year. CE produces data analysis from 1971 and economic projections
to 2020.


The CE Forecast results are published twice a year in February and July and are
accessible to subscribers of the service only. However, individual users have an option to
purchase the reference report „Regional Economic Prospects‟ which contains a mixture of
historical and forecast data for selected years only. Regional data can also be purchased
although it is extremely costly.
For further information about the UK regional model, contact Katerina Homenidou
Manager, UK Regional Service at Cambridge Econometrics by telephoning +44 (0) 1223
460760 or emailing khs@camecon.com.


Cambridge Econometrics Limited
Covent Garden
Cambridge
CB1 2HS
UK


7.4 Experian Business Strategies


Experian Business Strategies work with an international team of researchers, analysts and
consultants to provide an understanding of individuals, markets and economies in the UK
and around the world. With regards to economies, they model the current position and
future prospects of local, national and global economies in terms of employment, output,
consumer spending, investment, property and asset markets and advise public policy
makers on how to improve economic performance and raise social inclusion.

Within their UK Regional Planning Service they produce forecasts for all of the UK
regional economies.     These forecasts are replicated for all local / unitary authority
districts and counties in the UK, including NI. However, given the lack of officially
published data in NI, forecasts at the local level are less detailed. Experian provides data



                                            102
analysis from 1982 and economic projections to 2020 for a number of variables
including:
        Employment (and self-employment) by sector 35.
        Unemployment (including claimant count unemployment) by sector
        GVA by sector
        Population by age cohort and gender
        Household disposable income and spending


Forecast results produced by Experian can be purchased from Experian Business
Strategies Economic and Forecasting Services.


For further information about Experian‟s economic forecasting contact Anthony Light by
telephoning +44 (0) 20 7746 8216 or email anthony.light@uk.experian.com.



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    Industry detail available for local areas in NI - Agriculture, mining & utilities; Manufacturing;
Construction; Wholesale & retail; Hotels & restaurants; Transport & communications; Financial
intermediation; Real estate, renting & business activities; Public administration & defence; Education;
Health & social work; Other services.



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8.0    Conclusion

There is clearly a great deal of labour market data available for NI with statistics being
collected for almost every area of the labour market. This report has identified 18 data
sources (both official and non-official) containing labour market data, with a further 15
data sources relating to specific sectors, migrant labour and labour market forecasts.
Thus, although there appears to be a vast amount of information, it is scattered across a
wide range of databases, only some of which are publicly available. In general, the LFS
is probably the preferred source of both national and regional labour market data as its
characteristics are well known and it follows international conventions and definitions,
thus making it highly comparable. The LFS is a rich source of information on a number
of vital labour market characteristics, and a long time-series of information is also
available from the LFS. However, even with a boosted sample size for NI, the LFS is a
sample survey and estimates are therefore subject to sampling error.            The other
prominent sources of labour market data in NI, the CoE and the QES, although vital for
estimating labour market activity, do not collect the data necessary for a detailed labour
market analysis. Nevertheless, while there may be a significant lack of official data for
NI, there is a sufficient amount of information to enable a wide range of research projects
to be undertaken.




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9.0       References


Beatty, R., Fegan, G. & Marshall, D., July 2006, ‘Long-term International Migration
Estimates for Northern Ireland (2004-5) – Sources and Methodology’, Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency, A National Statistics Publication, Belfast, NI


Department for Employment and Learning, December 2006, ‘Labour Market Bulletin
20’, Belfast, NI


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, June 2005, ‘The Northern Ireland
Economic Bulletin 2005’, Belfast, NI


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, June 2006, ‘The Northern Ireland
Economic Bulletin 2006’, Belfast, NI


Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, June 2007, ‘The Northern Ireland
Economic Bulletin 2007’, Belfast, NI


     http://cain.ulst.ac.uk


     http://qb.soc.surrey.ac.uk


     www.ark.ac.uk


     www.business-strategies.com


     www.camecon.com


     www.csu.nisra.gov.uk


     www.data-archive.ac.uk


                                           105
   www.dhsspsni.gov.uk


   www.delni.gov.uk


   www.deni.gov.uk


   www.detini.gov.uk


   www.dfpni.gov.uk


   www.dsdni.gov.uk


   www.equalityni.org


   www.esds.ac.uk


   www.hse.gov.uk


   www.iser.essex.ac.uk


   www.lra.org.uk


   www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk


   www.nisra.gov.uk


   www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk


   www.northernireland.gov.uk


   www.oxfordeconomics.com / www.oef.com



                                   106
   www.regfor.com


   www.scotland.gov.uk


   www.ssda.org.uk


   www.statistics.gov.uk


   www.warwick.ac.uk/ier




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