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Labour Force Survey, Quarter 1 2022

26 May 2022 - 12:41 pm


On May 26th the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the first quarter of 2022, which covers the months January to March. 2,505,800 people were employed in this quarter: an increase of 275,200 on Q1 2021. Full-time employment increased by 10% or 176,100 over the year to 1,973,000 people. Women accounted for 41% of people in full-time employment in Quarter 1 in both 2021 and 2022.   

Part-time employment also increased by 99,100 to 532,800; by 19% for men to 168,900 and by 24% for women to 363,900. Women accounted for 68% of people in part-time employment. Part-time underemployment decreased by 7% to 100,200 people: it decreased for men by 19% to 40,400, but increased for women by 2% to 62,900. In Q1 2022, women accounted for 63% of people who described themselves as underemployed.

Over the year the Labour Force rose by 231,400 to 2,632,500. The labour force consists of people who are in employment plus people who are unemployed. Two factors influence changes in the Labour Force, the demographic effect, which was positive (+26,600); and the participatory effect, which had an even stronger impact (+204,800).

The participation rate in Q1 2022 was 64.8%, an increase of almost five percentage points on the Q1 2021 figure of 60%. The participation rate measures the share of the total population aged 15 years and over who are in the labour force. Over the year the participation rate increased for women from 54.3% to 59.6%, and for men from 65.9% to 70.2%. The participation rate figures run from January 1998 and 59.6% is the highest rate seen for women, men’s participation rate has been higher, at 76.3% in Q1 2007. 

In Q1 2022, 126,700 people were unemployed: a decrease of 43,800 people over the year. The unemployment rate was 4.8%, a decrease of 2.3 ppt over the year. The number of people deemed long-term unemployed increased by 7% to 43,700 people, while the long-term unemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.7%. At the beginning of 2021, people who were long-term unemployed accounted for 24% of the unemployed, by the beginning of 2022 this figure had risen to 34%.  

The Principal Economic Status (PES) captures data on how people described themselves, for example whether they are at work or unemployed or a student or on home duties. In Q1 2022, 162,300 people described themselves as unemployed: a decrease of 131,200 on Q1 2021 and 2% lower than Q1 2020.

The Potential Additional Labour Force (PALF) captures people who may not fit into the official definition of unemployment, whereby people have to be actively seeking work for the previous four weeks and available to take up work in the coming two weeks of the survey. In Q1 2022 PALF stood at 81,000 people, a decrease of 129,700 over the year, and 26% lower than in Q1 2020, when it was 109,000 people. At the end of the first quarter in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Ireland, at the time few people anticipated its impact on the country and the labour market.