Labour Force Survey Q2 2018

28 Aug 2018

On August 28th 2018 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Quarter 2, 2018. According to this survey there were 2,255,000 people employed, an increase of 74,100 on the same quarter in 2017. An additional 73,000 people were in full-time employment, and 1,100 people in part-time employment. Part-time employment accounts for 20% of people in employment. However, 128,700 people who are working part-time described themselves as underemployed i.e. they would like to be working more hours than they are currently, this figure accounts for 5.7% of those in employment. 

There were 144,300 people who were unemployed, a decrease of 16,200 over the year. The overall unemployment rate in Q2 2018 was 6%, 0.9% lower than the same quarter in 2017. The CSO noted that the rate of decline in unemployment is slowing. 48,900 people were unemployed for more than a year. The long-term unemployment rate was 2%, down 1.2% on Q2 2017.

Looking at long-term unemployment from an age perspective young people aged 15-24 account for 16.8%; people aged 25-44 account for 45%; while those aged 45years and over account for 38.4%. Men account for 60% of the long-term unemployed, and women account for 40%.

The country has been divided into eight regions: Border; West; Mid-West; South-East; South-West; Dublin; Mid-East; and Midland. Four regions had unemployment rates higher than the State’s rate of 6%: the Border region at 6.5%; the West at 6.7%; the South-East at 7.2%; and the Midlands at 9.7%.

The State’s Participation Rate, which is arrived at by dividing the Labour Force by the total population aged 15+ years, stood at 62.3%. This rate was lower in the four regions with a higher unemployment rate. Only two regions had a higher participation rate and they were the Mid-East, at 63.5%; and Dublin at 66.2%.

As part of the Labour Force Survey the CSO also publishes the Indicators of Potential Labour Supply, which present a fuller picture of the employment issues facing Ireland. PLS3, which captures “unemployed persons plus Potential Additional Labour Force plus others who want a job, who are not available and not seeking for reasons other than being in education or training as a percentage of the Labour Force plus Potential Additional Labour Force plus others who want a job, who are not available and not seeking for reasons other than being in education or training” stood at 15.3%, while pre-crisis it varied between 7.1% and 8.7%.

The Potential Additional Labour Force stood at 131,900 people in Q2 2018. This group would include people who did not answer ‘yes’ to the two questions that must be answered to be classified as ‘unemployed’. And so it would include people who are long-term unemployed and maybe facing barriers because of their age, background, skills levels; people parenting alone; and people who are living with a disability. Though Ireland’s headline employment and unemployment continue to improve, a lot of work remains to be done to create an inclusive labour market.