Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2019

The CSO statistical release on employment in Ireland has been published, with the following key findings for the 3rd quarter of 2019. Read on to see some of the major points of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2019.

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Quarter 3 2019

Indicator Quarter 3 2019 Annual change
Employed 2,326,900  +53,700
Unemployed 128,000 -15,800
In labour force 2,454,900  +37,900
Not in labour force 1,470,700  +27,500

Employment increases by 2.4% in year to Q3 2019

Figure 1 Numbers in employment (ILO) in the third quarters 2015 to 2019

There was an annual increase in employment of 2.4% or 53,700 in the year to the third quarter of 2019. This brings total employment to 2,326,900. This compares with an annual increase of 2.0% or 45,000 in employment in the previous quarter, and an increase of 3.0% or 66,700 in the year to Q3 2018.

Summary points for Q3 2019

  •  The increase in total employment of 53,700 in the year to Q3 2019 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of   40,500 (+2.2%) and an increase in part-time employment of 13,200 (+2.9%).
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 17,300 (+0.8%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted decrease in employment of 21,200 (-0.9%) in Q2 2019, an increase of 48,200 (+2.1%) in Q1 2019, an increase of 9,300 (+0.4%) in Q4 2018 and an increase of 8,900 (+0.4%) in Q3 2018.
  • Unemployment decreased by 15,800 (-11.0%) in the year to Q3 2019 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 128,000. This is the twenty-ninth quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 5.2% in Q2 2019 to 4.9% in Q3 2019, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed decreased by 4,900 to 120,000.
  • The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 2.1% in Q3 2018 to 1.4% in Q3 2019. Long-term unemployment accounted for 27.3% of total unemployment in Q3 2019.
  • The total number of persons in the labour force in the third quarter of 2019 was 2,454,900, representing an increase of 37,900 (+1.6%) over the year.  This compares with an annual labour force increase of 46,900 (+2.0%) in Q3 2018.  The number of persons not in the labour force in Q3 2019 was 1,470,700, an increase of 27,500 (+1.9%) over the year.

Labour Force

  • As with employment, the number of persons in the labour force is also influenced by changes in the size of the working-age population (demographic effect).  Up to the start of 2008, this demographic effect had been adding at least 30,000 to the labour force on an annual basis, primarily driven by net inward migration.  This demographic effect peaked at over 90,500 in the second quarter of 2007.
  • With the decline in inward migration, the positive demographic effect started to fall in the second half of 2007 and continued to decline throughout 2008 and 2009 before becoming negative in Q3 2009. The negative demographic effect continued for each quarter until Q1 2014. The demographic effect has been positive since Q2 2014 and in Q3 2019 a positive demographic effect contributed an increase of 32,000 to the overall change in the labour force.
  • In addition to the demographic effect, the change in the size of the labour force is influenced by changes in participation. While the overall participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.5% over the year. The net result of changes in individual age groups for the same period was a positive participation effect of 5,900.
  • Of those persons not in the labour force, the number classified as being in the potential additional labour force was 109,600 in the third quarter of 2019.

International Comparisons

  • The employment rate in Ireland increased by 0.6 percentage points to 69.1% over the year to Q2 2019. The employment rate in the EU-28 in Q2 2019 was 69.3%.
  • The unadjusted unemployment rate among the EU-28 countries in the second quarter of 2019 was 6.2%, while the comparable rate in Ireland was 5.4%.  The highest unemployment rates among the EU-28 countries in Q2 2019 were recorded in Greece and Spain (16.9% and 14.0% respectively), while the lowest rates of 1.9% and 3.1% were recorded in the Czech Republic and Germany respectively.
  • The latest figures available at the time of finalising this release indicate that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the EU-28 for September 2019 was 6.3% compared to the revised seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate of 4.9% for Ireland for the same period.

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