In their latest Labour Force Survey figures, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has announced an annual increase in employment of 3.7% or 81,200 in the year to the first quarter of 2019, bringing total employment in Ireland to 2,301,900. They also revised the unemployment rates for March and April with the new figure at 4.6%, rather than the previously estimated 5.4%. This is sharply down on the 5.8% figure in April 2018 and continues the long term trend. An analysis of the numbers shows that job growth is relatively consistent across all sectors, with only agriculture showing a decline. There were above average increases in construction (5.3%), female employment (5%) and youth employment (15 to 24 year olds).

The Minister for Finance and for Public Expenditure and Reform commented to RTE News that “today’s figures confirm that the labour market is no longer in a recovery phase and that we are now zeroing in on “full-employment“. Mr Donohoe said that while full-employment in the country is a welcome outcome, it also presents challenges for policy and he said policies that overheat the economy must be avoided. “This means ensuring that the labour market remains open and flexible in order to support growth in jobs and living standards, while protecting our international competitiveness,” he said. He said that greater participation in the labour market by those currently outside should also be encouraged. and policies that foster improvements in productivity are being prioritised.

Source: Central Statistics Office and RTE News, May 21st