Unemployment drops to new post-crash low of 5.3%

CSO figures show number classified as unemployed fell to 127,600 in November

The Republic's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 per cent in November, down from 5.4 per cent the previous month, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

While there have been several upward revisions to the State’s jobless rate, the overall trend has been downward in keeping with the growth in employment.

The latest numbers show the number of people classified as unemployed fell by 2,500 to stand at 127,600 in November. This represented an annual decrease of 23,700 or 1.1 per cent.

Having peaked at 16 per cent at the height of the crash in 2012, the State’s jobless rate is now almost three points below the euro zone average of 8.1 per cent.


On current trends it will fall below 5 per cent next year, a rate which several agencies here equate to full employment.

However, participation rates, particularly for women, are low by international standards.

"The Irish labour market tightened further last month edging closer to dropping below 5 per cent, which hasn't happened since September 2007, over 11 years ago," Pawel Adrjan, economist at recruitment website Indeed, said.

“Employers will likely rely increasingly on inward migration to help fill positions: over the course of last year, almost 40 per cent of the increase in the number of people in employment has come from non-Irish nationals,” he added.

Irish nationals

Separate CSO figures published last month showed that while employment growth among Irish nationals was running at a 2.2 per cent year on year, employment among foreign nationals was growing at a rate of 7.7 per cent .

Foreign nationals now comprise a record 16.2 per cent of total employment in the Republic.

The latest CSO figures show the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for men stood at 5.3 per cent in November, down from 6.8 per cent the same month last year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for women was 5.4 per cent, down from 6 per cent in November last year.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted rate of youth unemployment to 12.3 per cent in November from 12.9 per cent the previous month.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times