Lowest rate of annual increase in employment in three years – CSO

May 25, 2024

The number of people in employment in the first quarter of the year stood at 2.7 million, a rise of 1.9% or 51,500, compared to a year ago.

The annual change of 1.9% is the lowest annual increase in three years.

The latest Labour Force Survey from the Central Statistics Office shows that 2,704,200 people were categorised as being in employment in the first three months of year – a slight decrease on the figure of 2,706,400 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The employment rate for people aged 15-64 years was 73.8% in the first quarter of the year.

Unemployment

Today’s CSO figures show there were 115,200 unemployed people in the quarter with an associated unemployment rate of 4.1%, up from 4% in the first three months of 2023.

The youth unemployment rate, for those aged 15-24 years, was 8.8%, up from 8.6% a year earlier.

There were 28,800 people in long-term unemployment, unemployed for 12 months or longer, in the first quarter of the year. This was a decrease of 3,400 people compared to a year earlier.

An estimated 573,400 or 21.2% of those in employment worked part-time and 21.8 % of those in part-time employment were classified as underemployed – meaning they would like to work more hours for more pay.

The estimated Labour Force, the sum of all people who were either employed or unemployed, stood at 2,819,400, a rise of 2% or 55,400 compared to the previous year.

Hours worked

The CSO said the estimated total number of hours worked per week in the first quarter of the year decreased by 0.2%, or 100,000 hours, on an annual basis.

“The year-on-year change in hours worked varied across the different economic sectors,” the CSO said.

“The Professional, Scientific & Technical sector saw an additional 700,000 hours worked when compared with the first quarter of 2023,” according to today’s survey.

Commenting on today’s CSO figures, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Peter Burke said it was encouraging to see that more than half of the jobs created in the past year were outside of Dublin.

“Female participation rates in the labour market in particular have been trending upwards, with more women availing of opportunities for employment, and more women moving from part-time to full-time positions,” Mr Burke said.

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said the figures are broadly in line with expectations and point to some easing of the very tight conditions that characterised the labour market in early 2023 with the pace of employment growth easing.

“While the unemployment rate – at 4.3% – remains low by historical standards and consistent with full employment, with labour demand easing and labour supply remaining robust, the labour market, though still tight, appears to have returned to a broadly balanced position, at least on aggregate,” Mr McGrath said.

“Nevertheless, I will continue to monitor conditions, in particular in relation to pay developments, in terms of impacts on competitiveness,” he added.

EY Ireland Chief Economist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan said it is clear that the pace of employment growth is moderating.

“While this was the lowest growth in three years, it does not come as a surprise as a switch in pace – from a run to a jog – is in line with EY’s expectation of a moderation this year following several years of outstanding employment growth,” she said.

Article Source – Lowest rate of annual increase in employment in three years – CSO – RTE

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