Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2023
On August 24th 2023 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the second quarter of 2023, which covers the months April to June.
In Q2 2023, 121,200 people were unemployed, an increase of 1,300 people over the year. The unemployment rate was 4.4%, a decrease of 0.1 ppt over the year. The unemployment rate for women was 4.2%, an annual decrease of 0.3 percentage point; while the unemployment rate for men was 4.6%, an annual decrease of 0.1 ppt. Women accounted for 45% of the unemployed in Q2 2023, a decrease of 2 percentage points on the same quarter in 2022.
The unemployment rate for young people aged 15-24 years was 12.2%, an increase of 0.8 percentage points over the year. Looking at the unemployment figures from an age and gender perspective, the unemployment rates for men (4.6%) were higher than for women (4.2%) in Quarter 2 2023, except for three age groups: 15-19; 35-44; and 65-74 year olds.
The number of people deemed long-term unemployed increased marginally to 31,900 people, while the long-term unemployment rate remained the same at 1.2%. The CSO notes, excluding people whose duration was not stated, that “Over a quarter (27.5%) of unemployed persons were in long-term unemployment in Q2 2023 which is slightly down from 27.7% 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 Q2 2023, 164,600 people described themselves as unemployed, an increase of 10,900 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 Q2 2023, PALF stood at 99,200, an increase of 14,800 people on the same quarter in 2022. Amongst the reasons given for people not seeking or being available to work were being in education or training; having an illness or disability; or having caring responsibilities.
2,643,000 people were employed in this quarter, an increase of 88,400 on Q2 2022. A 3.7% increase in full-time employment accounted for 83% of the increase in employment overall. The employment rate was 74.2%, an increase of 0.7 percentage point over the year, and the highest since this data series began. Women accounted for 41.6% of people in full-time employment in Quarter 2 2023, 0.77 percentage points higher than Q2 in 2022.
Part-time employment increased by 2.8% to 559,100. Women accounted for 70% of people in part-time employment. Part-time underemployment increased by 21.8% to 139,700 people. In Q2 2023 women accounted for 64% of people who described themselves as underemployed, an increase of 2.5 percentage points over the year.
Over the year the Labour Force rose by 3.35% or 89,700 to 2,764,200. 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 (+68,300) and the participatory effect (+21,500).
The participation rate in Q1 2023 was 65.7%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on the Q2 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 men from 71% to 70.6%, but increased for women from 59.8% to 61%. Looking at this figure from an age perspective, the age group with the biggest percentage increase was people aged 60-64 (4.6 percentage points). While the participation rate decreased for people aged 15-24 years (0.4 ppt) and people aged 25-34 (0.3 ppt).