Government welcomes CSO figures pointing to continued progress on numbers in employment

20th June, 2018

2,238,000 people now at work in Ireland

  • Employment in the first quarter of this year was 62,100 (2.9 per cent) higher than the same period last year
  • After adjusting for seasonal factors, the level of employment is now at its highest level ever
  • The increase in employment remains broad based – with annual gains across most sectors and regions
  • Unemployment continues to fall, with the unemployment rate declining to 5.3 per cent in May

The Government has today (Wednesday) welcomed the Labour Force Survey (LFS) data from the Central Statistics Office, which shows continued strong momentum in the labour market with robust jobs growth.

Welcoming the figures, the Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe said: ‘Today’s seasonally adjusted figures show that there are now more people at work than ever before, with 62,100 additional jobs created over the year to the first quarter of 2018. The total number of people at work in Ireland now stands at 2,238,000’.

“We have now seen 23 consecutive quarters of employment growth.  Crucially, this growth remains broad-based with annual gains recorded in most sectors and regions. In parallel, unemployment continues to fall, with the unemployment rate reaching 5.3 per cent in May.  Encouragingly, we are also seeing declines in long-term unemployment – now at 2.1 per cent – and the youth unemployment rate – to 12.5 per cent.

“The labour market is the best barometer of how the economy is performing and today’s figures are very encouraging.  We now have 2¼ million people in work in Ireland and the unemployment rate is at its lowest since the beginning of 2008.

“Our main objective is to maintain and, indeed, to build on this momentum and the Government is committed to ensuring the positive trends in the labour market are maintained.  We will continue to implement active labour policies and work to safeguard the gains in competitiveness made in recent years.

“With employment at its highest level ever and the economy approaching full-employment we must also be wary of possible capacity constraints in some sectors which could lead to overheating in the economy.  As such, the Government is mindful that budgetary policy is not pro-cyclical.  This is the main message that is set out in the Summer Economic Statement which the Government published yesterday.”

The Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, with Special Responsibility for Training and Skills, John Halligan TD said: ‘I’m particularly delighted to see such strong, sustained regional jobs growth. A key target of the Action Plan for Jobs is to support the creation of 200,000 new jobs by 2020, 135,000 of which are outside of Dublin and it is great to see that growth in our economy is benefiting every part of Ireland. Balanced regional development is a key driver of Ireland’s national growth and the creation of employment.”