Ministers Donohoe and Humphreys note latest CSO figures confirming continued annual growth in Ireland’s labour market

27th August, 2019

  • Total employment in the second quarter of 2019 increased by 45,000 (+2.0 per cent) to 2,300,000 relative to the same period in 2018.
  • Full-time employment increased by 39,300 over the same period (+2.2 per cent).
  • Compared to the previous quarter, (seasonally adjusted) employment fell by 20,900 (-0.9 per cent) following exceptionally strong quarterly growth in the first quarter (+48,500 or +2.1 per cent). Employment up by 27,600 overall over the first two quarters.
  • Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimated at 5.2 per cent in the second quarter.
  • Labour force grew by 31,400 over the year (+1.3 per cent).
  • Net inward migration of 33,700 in the year to April.  

The CSO’s latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) data published today (Tuesday, 27th August 2019) show further growth in Ireland’s labour market, with year-on-year growth in employment of 2.0 per cent in the second quarter of 2019. The level of employment stood at 2.3 million persons in the second quarter. Unemployment also fell significantly, with the unemployment rate for the second quarter at 5.2 per cent.

Minister for Finance and for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., said: “Today’s figures show that Ireland’s labour market is continuing to perform robustly. The number of people at work in Ireland grew by 45,000 over the year to the second quarter of 2019, with the majority of this growth coming in the form of full-time employment (+39,300), with part-time under-employment also down significantly. In total there are now 2,300,000 people in employment in Ireland. The labour force is continuing to grow, up 31,400 over the year. I also note the CSO’s latest population figures, which showed net inward migration of 33,700 in the year to April, with our population now estimated at 4,921,500.

“On the whole, I am encouraged by these figures which demonstrate the continued strength of our economy with employment growth spread relatively broadly across the regions and sectors reported by the CSO. However, we did see a softening in the level of employment in the second quarter which was down from the record level set during the exceptionally strong first quarter, with a slight uptick in unemployment as well. This is not surprising given the strength of the first quarter numbers, and is in keeping with my Department’s overall outlook for the economy as set out in its Spring Economic Forecasts as published in the Stability Programme Update in April. A slight softening in the second quarter is in keeping with some of the high frequency economic data and surveys released during this period, as well as global economic developments.  

“There is now no doubt that Ireland’s labour market has recovered from the crisis and remains very close to full employment. This means we must continue to do our utmost to guard against risks of overheating that may now emerge. Economic policy must support growth in jobs and living standards and protect our international competitiveness by ensuring our labour market is open and flexible enough to match supply with demand. The migration numbers are very welcome in this regard. However, further work is needed to increase Ireland’s labour force participation rate, which currently remains below pre-crisis levels. Indeed this is one of the pillars of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland strategy.”

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “I welcome the latest Labour Force Survey release from the Central Statistics Office. With 45,000 net new jobs created since Q2 2018, we are continuing the strong momentum in economic growth seen in recent years. Today’s release also marks the twenty eighth quarter where we’ve seen an annual decline in unemployment.

Overall, since 2012, we have seen the creation of over 420,000 jobs, a reflection of the success of the Action Plans for Jobs. We are now working to consolidate these positive trends through Future Jobs Ireland, our whole-of-Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future.”


Note to Editors:

  • Employment increased annually in 6 of 8 regions and 11 of 14 sectors measured by the CSO.
  • The largest sectoral employment increases in the second quarter of 2019 (in annual terms) were in Transportation and Storage (+8.6 per cent or 13,000) and Education (+7.8 per cent or 13,000).
  • Part time under-employment fell by –15,700, while long term unemployment is down –8,100 and now accounts for 1.7 per cent of the labour force.
  • The participation rate (number of persons in the labour force as a percentage of the population aged 15 or over) stood at 62.1 per cent in Q2 2019, below the pre-crisis peak figure of 66.7 per cent.
  • The population in April 2019 is estimated at 4,921,500, up 64,500 over the year.
  • There were 33,700 net inward migrants in the year to April 2019, composed of 88,600 immigrants, of whom 26,900 were returning Irish, and 54,900 emigrants.