377,000 jobs created in Irish economy since low point of crash

CSO figures reveal extent of turnaround in labour market since 2012

The most eye-catching increases were in the accommodation and food service sector, and the construction sector, which added 45,400 jobs, representing a near 90 per cent jump. Photograph: Alan Betson

The most eye-catching increases were in the accommodation and food service sector, and the construction sector, which added 45,400 jobs, representing a near 90 per cent jump. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Approximately 377,000 jobs have been created in the Irish economy since the low point of the crash in 2012, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The upward trend in employment has been the most striking feature of Ireland’s economic turnaround. It has coincided with a rapid drop in unemployment, which has fallen from 16 per cent to just 5 per cent in less than six years.

The CSO figures indicate that the number of people employed in the Irish economy stood at a record 2.255 million in the second quarter of 2018.

This was 20 per cent or 377,000 higher than the figure recorded in the second quarter of 2012 when the economy was mired in recession.

Virtually all of the increase was accounted for by growth in full-time employment, which rose by 374,000.

While total employment is greater now than at the high point of the boom in 2007, the CSO has previously cautioned that the State’s employment rate – the percentage of the labour force with jobs – is still below pre-crash levels.

Nonetheless the recovery has seen employment rise in all sectors of the economy. The most eye-catching increases were in the accommodation and food service sector (+52,000 or 48.4 per cent) and the construction sector, which added 45,400 jobs, representing a near 90 per cent jump.

Occupations

On an occupational level, employment in the professional and skilled trades groups, which covers much of State’s strong-performing IT and finance sectors, rose by 72,200 and 49,100 respectively, representing the largest increase in the number of employees over the period.

The number of self-employed workers, however, fell in some economic sectors, including the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which saw a decline of 5,100.

The figures, taken from the CSO’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) series, also show the number of people who said they were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job was 16.7 per cent, compared with over 36 per cent in 2012.

Detailed breakdown

The CSO also provided a detailed breakdown of the average hours worked per week. Of the 14 economic sectors, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector had the highest average at 50.4 hours per week with the education sector having the lowest at 30.1 hours per week.

Self-employed people usually worked an average of 45.2 hours per week, while the corresponding number for employees was 35.2 hours. The average for persons in full-time and part-time employment was 40.8 and 18.8 hours per week respectively.