Labour Force Survey Q3 2018

21 Nov 2018

On November 20th 2018 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Quarter 3, 2018. According to this survey there were 2,273,200 people employed, an increase of 66,700 on the same quarter in 2017. An additional 44,200 people were in full-time employment, and 22,500 people in part-time employment. Part-time employment accounts for 20% of people in employment. 111,500 people who are working part-time described themselves as underemployed i.e. they working less hours than they would like, and they represent 4.9% of those in employment. 

There were 143,800 people who were unemployed, a decrease of 19,700 over the year. The overall unemployment rate in Q2 2018 was 6%, 0.9% lower than the same quarter in 2017. Looking at this rate from a gender perspective, the female unemployment rate was 6.1%, and the male rate was 5.9%, the first time the female rate was higher since Q3 2007. Young women, aged 15-19 years, had the highest unemployment rate at 25.9% in Q3 2018, while women aged 65+ has the lowest rate at 0.5%. 

50,200 people were unemployed for more than a year. The long-term unemployment rate was 2.1%, down 0.7% on Q3 2017. Looking at long-term unemployment from an age perspective young people aged 15-24 account for 18.7%; people aged 25-44 account for 43.2%; while those aged 45years and over account for 38%. Men account for 58% of the long-term unemployed, and women account for 42%.

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 West at 6.6%; the Mid-West at 7.2%; the South-East at 8.6%; and the Midlands at 7.1%.

The State’s Participation Rate, which is arrived at by dividing the Labour Force by the total population aged 15+ years, stood at 62.6%. This rate was lower in the four regions with a higher unemployment rate. Three regions had a higher participation rate and they were the South-West at 62.9%; the Mid-East at 63%; and Dublin at 66.1%. These three regions also had lower unemployment rates: 4.9%; 5.8% and 5.3% respectively. The Border region was the only one with both lower participation and unemployment rates: 59.3% and 5.1% respectively.              

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”. In Q3 2018 PLS3 stood at 14.6%, while in Q3 2007 it was 7.4%.

The Potential Additional Labour Force (PALF) stood at 118,600 people in Q3 2018. The CSO notes that PALF consists of two groups ‘persons seeking work but not immediately available’ and ‘persons available for work but not seeking’. This figure is seen as supplementing the unemployment rate and captures people who are unemployed but may have lost heart seeking work, and people who may face logistical challenges, including childcare and transport, finding and maintaining paid employment.