Number of people employed in Ireland grows 3.3%
Unemployment falls to 12.1%, close to European average
Employment continued to grow through to the end of 2013, according to the latest Quarterly National Household Survey, one of the most reliable sets of early data about the economy.
The number of people employed grew by 61,000, or 3.3 per cent, in the year to the end of 2013, compared with an annual increase of 3.2 per cent to the end of the third quarter. It means the numbers in employment have been growing now for five straight quarters.
“We had assumed [employment]growth would slow down this year but there is no sign that it is slowing down,” said Prof John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute, responding to the latest figures. He said the institute would now have to revise upwards its forecasts for economic and employment growth in the economy.
Total employment grew to 1.9 million at the fourth quarter. The numbers unemployed fell 41,400, or -14.1 per cent, bringing the total number of people unemployed to 253,200. The last quarter of last year was the sixth successive quarter where unemployment has declined on an annual basis. The unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 11.7 per cent, from 13.7 per cent, over the year to the fourth quarter.
The rate of long-term unemployment fell from 8.2 per cent to 7.2 per cent over the year to the fourth quarter, with the long-term unemployed accounting for 61.4 per cent of all unemployment in the quarter.
The total number of people in the labour force increased by 0.9 per cent over the year, while the number not in the labour force fell by 1.3 per cent.
The largest increases in employment were in; agriculture (+29.8 per cent); accommodation and food service (+14.7 per cent); and professional, scientific and technical activities (+12.7 per cent). The Central Statistics Office, which produces the quarterly figures, said the figures for agriculture are affected by changes in how it produces it data.
The sectors that recorded employment declines were: financial, insurance and real estate (-5.6 per cent); wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-1.1 per cent); public administration, defence and compulsory social security (-1 per cent); and information and communication (-0.8 per cent).