Economic Inactivity in Northern Ireland

This project will examine the high levels of economic inactivity in Northern Ireland and is funded by the NI Department of Economy with a view to providing an evidence base for economic policymaking. The project will take a mixed methods approach looking at existing data and then engaging with community groups and organisations to understand reasons why people are inactive.

Economic inactivity in Northern Ireland has historically been considerably higher than other areas of the UK driven by high proportions of people who are inactive on the grounds of sickness/disability as well as high proportions of students. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic economic inactivity has increased considerably in Northern Ireland, a pattern which has not been mirrored in other parts of the UK.

The work will be carried out by Dr Anne Devlin of the ESRI and Dr Tom Hastings and Prof Ian Shuttleworth of Queens University Belfast.