Educational Attainment Thematic Report 2018

18 Dec 2018

On December 18th, 2018 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Educational Attainment Thematic Report 2018. This report draws on data for Labour Force Survey Quarter 2, 2018, and highlights the strong link between educational attainment and employment status. For young people aged 18-24 years, their employment rate was 55%, their unemployment rate was 9%, and 36% of them were deemed inactive. But, for young people who have left school early, these figures are strikingly different: only 28% of them are employed; 18% are unemployed; and 54% are seen as inactive i.e. not in the labour force.

Looking at people aged 25-64 years, the unemployment rate for people with primary level education or lower was 14%, in comparison to an unemployment rate of 4% for people with third level education. The employment rates are also stark: 35% for people with primary or below vis-à-vis 85% for people with third level education.

In this age group people with a third level education account for 47% of the population, while people with primary or below represent 5%. The report notes the change over the past nine years. In Q2 2009 13% of this age group had primary level education or below; while in that quarter 37% of the population had third level education.  

Breaking down these figures further by age, the age groups with a 50%+ third level education were people aged 25-34 years and 35-44 years.  Looking at the age groups 20-24 years and 25-34 years from a gender perspective there is striking difference between female and male third level attainment. Young women aged 20-24 had a third level attainment rate of 32% in comparison to a male rate of 22%. While young men aged 35-44 years had a third level attainment rate of 52% in comparison to a female rate of 60%.

Looking at the participation rate for people aged 25-64 years, again there are striking differences across the education spectrum. The participation rate is the number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the total population. And in Q2 2018, people with third level education had a participation rate of 89%, in comparison to one of 41% for people with primary or below. This contrast was greater for women, as the participation rate for women with a third level qualification was 85%, in comparison to a participation of 29% for women with a primary education or below.

Click here to read the full report