Labour Market Participation Rate Reaches Highest Level Since 2008 – CSO

According to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the estimated labour market participation rate in the third quarter of 2023 has surged to 65.8%, marking the highest rate since the third quarter of 2008 and a notable increase from 64.8% during the same period last year.

The CSO’s Labour Force Survey for today reveals that the employment rate for individuals aged between 15 and 64 years during the months of July, August, and September 2023 reached 74.1%.

The CSO reported a year-on-year increase of 101,600 (4%) in the number of employed individuals aged between 15 and 89, bringing the total to 2,655,900 during the third quarter.

Approximately 21.6% of those employed worked part-time, and among part-time workers, 22.8% were classified as underemployed, expressing a desire for more hours and increased pay.

The estimated Labour Force, encompassing individuals aged between 15 and 89 who were either employed or unemployed, stood at 2,784,400, indicating a 4.2% (111,000) rise from the third quarter of 2022.

In parallel, the number of unemployed individuals aged between 15 and 74 years was 128,600, resulting in an associated unemployment rate of 4.6%, as per the CSO.

The youth unemployment rate, covering individuals aged 15 to 24 years, stood at 12.2% in the third quarter of the current year, slightly up from 12% during the same period in the previous year.

The CSO highlighted that long-term unemployment (without a job for 12 months or longer) saw a decrease of 800 individuals, standing at 31,000 in the third quarter, with the corresponding rate remaining unchanged at 1.1%.

Notably, the estimated total number of hours worked per week during the third quarter of 2023 increased by 1.7 million hours (2.1%) to 82 million hours. The impact on hours worked varied across different economic sectors.

While acknowledging some recent labor market turbulence, Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Simon Coveney celebrated reaching a historic high in employment, emphasizing the positive trends in female participation rates.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath acknowledged the small increase in the unemployment rate and cautioned about potential softening in economic conditions. He welcomed the return to a more balanced labor market.

Loretta O’Sullivan, Chief Economist at EY Ireland, highlighted the strength of Ireland’s labor market, citing further job gains and a participation rate continuing to rise, indicating the overall health of the labor market.