Number of employed people rises to highest on record

New figures were released by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday.
Number of employed people rises to highest on record

By Cate McCurry, PA

The number of people in employment in Ireland has jumped to more than 2.5 million – the highest on record.

There are now 2,505,800 people aged 15 to 89 in employment, an increase of 12.3 per cent.

The unadjusted employment rate for people aged 15 to 64 is 72.8 per cent, according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) as it issued results from the Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of the year.

Employment increased across most economic sectors, with the largest rise in the accommodation and food service industry at 62.2 per cent.

Employment in the sector is now at 162,600, but that remains below the first quarter of 2020 level of 169,500.

Meanwhile, the number of hours worked per week jumped by almost 18% to a record high of 80.8 million hours in the first four months of the year.

As Covid restrictions eased, there was a 17.6 per cent rise in the number of hours worked per week.

This rise in the number of hours worked per week equates to an extra 12.1 million hours, bringing the number of hours worked per week to a record high of 80.8 million

The number of absences from work, temporary layoffs from work, family leave and holidays, during the reference week in the first quarter of this year was 168,100, the lowest level since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were 126,700 people classified as unemployed in the first four months of the year, with an associated unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent for those aged 15 to 74.

Statistician Sam Scriven said: “The number of absences from work, including temporary layoffs from work, family leave and holidays, declined by 45.7 per cent to 168,100, its lowest level since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This, together with an increase of 12.3 per cent in employment, resulted in an increase of 17.6 per cent or 12.1 million more hours worked per week to a record 80.8 million hours per week.”

The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors.

The number of hours worked per week was higher than a year ago in almost all sectors.

The hours worked per week in the accommodation and food services sector, while still below 2020 levels, increased by 2.6 million hours per week in the last year.

In the first four months of the year, the total number of people in the labour force was up 9.6 per cent, or 231,400, to 2,632,500 compared to the same period in 2021.

The number of persons not in the labour force was 1,431,000, which was down 10.8 per cent, or 172,400, from a year earlier.

The Covid-19 adjusted measures of employment and unemployment, which have been published by the CSO, do not appear in Thursday’s results.

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