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Labour Force Survey Quarter 1 2024

23 May 2024 - 14:32 pm


On May 23rd, 2024 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the first quarter of 2024, which covers the months of October to December. In this quarter 115,200 people were unemployed, an increase of 3,900 people over the year. The unemployment rate in Q1 2024 was 4.1%, an increase of 0.1 percentage point (ppt) over the year. The unemployment rate for women was 4.2%, 0.4 ppt higher than the same quarter in 2023. The unemployment rate for men was 4%, a decrease of 0.3 ppt. Women accounted for 48.5% of the unemployed in Q1 2024, five percentage points higher than in Quarter 1 2023.

The unemployment rate for young people aged 15-24 years was 8.8%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the year. The unemployment rate for people aged 25-74 years olds was 3.5%, an increase of 0.1 percentage point. Young people accounted for 26% of the unemployed in the first quarter of both 2023 and 2024.

The number of people deemed long-term unemployed decreased by 10.7% over the year to 28,800 people, while the long-term unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 1%. The CSO notes that, excluding people whose duration was not stated, “Over a quarter (26.3%) of unemployed persons were in long-term unemployment in Q1 2024 which is down from 31.5%  a year earlier”. Women accounted for 44% of the long-term unemployed in Q1 2024, 4.7 percentage points higher than in Quarter 1 2023.

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 2024, PALF stood at 102,300, an increase of 28% or 22,400 people on Q1 2023. The CSO noted that “Of those who stated that they wanted to work but were not seeking work or available for work in Q1 2024, 29.0% said this was due to education or training. This compares to 23.5% a year earlier and 23.6% in Q1 2022.  Persons not seeking work due to own illness or disability accounted for 26.4% of the total in Q1 2024, down from 34.3% in Q1 2023 and down from 40.2% in Q1 2022.”

Over the year the number of people employed in Ireland increased by 1.9% to 2,706,400 people: the CSO noted that this was the lowest increase for three years. A 2.3% increase in full-time employment accounted for 95% of the increase in employment overall. The employment rate was 73.8%, a small increase over the year. Women accounted for 42% of people in full-time employment in Quarter 1 2024, 1.1 percentage points higher than Q1 in 2023.

Over the year part-time employment increased by 0.5% to 573,400: and within this figure, part-time underemployment increased by 11% to 125,100 people. In Q1 2024 women accounted for 65% of people in part-time employment and 60% of people who were underemployed. In Q1 2023 these figures were 68% and 64% respectively.

Over the year the Labour Force rose by 2% to 2,819,400 people. 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 (+42,800) and the participatory effect (+12,600).

The participation rate in Q1 2024 was 65%, unchanged from Q1 2023. 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 70.7% to 70.2%, but increased for women from 59.5% to 60.1%. The participation rate for people aged 15-24 years was 51.6%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points over the year.