Irish unemployment rate sees biggest jump in two years

The 0.3% rise is the biggest monthly increase since March 2022

The unemployment rate rose last month in the biggest single jump in more than two years.

The seasonally adjusted rate increased to 4.4 per cent from a revised 4.1 per cent in March, the Central Statistics Office said in a statement. The rate is also up from 4.1 per cent a year ago.

There were about 124,200 people without work in April compared to 115,400 a month earlier, said Conor Delves, a statistician in the CSO’s labour market analysis section.

“The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed males rose to 60,400 in April 2024, compared with 57,800 in March 2024. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed females increased by 6,200 over the month to April 2024 from 57,600 to 63,800,” he said.


The 0.3 per cent rise is the biggest monthly increase since March 2022. The rate fell back quickly then and has been at 4.6 per cent or below since.

“The rate remains well below 5 per cent, a level it has not been above since December 2021, just a month before the Government lifted all Covid-19 restrictions,” Jack Kennedy, senior economist at jobs website Indeed, said in a statement. “This is a remarkably strong performance by a country that is continuing to achieve steady economic growth despite a dip in the final quarter of 2023.”

About 4.1 per cent of men in the workforce were unemployed in April, up from 3.9 per cent in March, while the rate for women rose to 4.7 per cent from 4.3 per cent.

“Current figures, recorded on April 19th, show Irish jobs postings on Indeed were down to 10 per cent above pre-pandemic levels. This is down from 12 per cent at the end of March, 17 per cent at the end of February and 22 per cent in January. It is also down from a record high of 65 per cent in February 2022,” said Mr Kennedy.

“Given the extent of positive economic data issued this week, the gradual drop in job postings recorded since the start of the year should not be a cause for any immediate concern.”

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan is an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times