On May 24th 2023, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the first quarter of 2023, which covers the months January to March.
2,608,500 people were employed in this quarter, an increase of 102,700 on Q1 2022, and another historic high for Ireland. A 3.7% increase in full-time employment accounted for 72% of the increase in employment overall. The employment rate was 73.6%, an increase of 0.8 percentage point over the year, and the highest since this data series began. Women accounted for 41% of people in full-time employment in Quarter 1 2023, the same as in Q1 2022.
Part-time employment increased by 5.4% to 561,700. Women accounted for 68% of people in part-time employment. Part-time underemployment increased by 10.5% to 110,700 people. In Q1 2023 women accounted for 64% of people who described themselves as underemployed, an increase of one percentage point over the year.
Over the year the Labour Force rose by 3.3% or 86,600 to 2,719,100. 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 (+79,400) and the participatory effect (+7,300).
The participation rate in Q1 2023 was 64.9%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points on the Q1 2022. 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 decreased for women from 59.6% to 59.5%, but increased for men from 70.2% to 70.6%. The participation rate for people aged 15-24 increased over the year by 0.1 percentage points to 51.6%. People aged 60-64 saw the biggest increase in their participation rate, going from 57.7% in Q1 2022 to 62.2% in Q1 2023. While people aged 55-59 years saw the biggest decrease over the year, by 2.2 percentage points to 77.1%.
In Q1 2023, 110,700 people were unemployed, a decrease of 16,000 people over the year. The unemployment rate was 4.1%, a decrease of 0.7 ppt over the year. The unemployment rate for women was 3.8%, an annual decrease of 0.9 percentage point; while the unemployment rate for men was 4.4%, an annual decrease of 0.6 ppt. Women accounted for 43% of the unemployed in Q1 2023, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points on the same quarter in 2022.
The unemployment rate for young people aged 15-24 years was 8.6%, an increase of 1.1 percentage points over the year. Looking at the unemployment figures from an age and gender perspective, the unemployment rates for men were higher than for women in Quarter 1 2023, except for three age groups: 15-19; 55-59; and 65-74 year olds.
The number of people deemed long-term unemployed decreased by 26.5% to 32,100 people, while the long-term unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 1.2%. The CSO notes, excluding people whose duration was not stated, that “Just under a third (31.6%) of unemployed persons were in long-term unemployment in Q1 2023 which is down from 36.1% a year earlier”.
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 2023, 157,300 people described themselves as unemployed, a decrease of 5,000 over the year.
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 2023, PALF stood at 78,500, a decrease of 2,500 on the same quarter in 2022.