Unemployment in Ireland falls to new post-crash low of 5.4%

State’s jobless rate is now three points below the euro zone average

The State’s official unemployment rate fell to 5.4 per cent in September, down from 5.6 per cent the previous month.

The rate had, however, been revised up to 5.6 per cent in August as a result of new population estimates.

The latest monthly figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the number of workers classified as unemployed fell by 4,800 to 129,400 on a seasonally adjusted basis in September. This represented an annual decrease of 26,800 or 1.2 per cent.

Having peaked at 15.9 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 the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) equates to full employment here.

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

Pawel Adrjan, economist at recrutiment website Indeed, said the latest figures represented a continuation of "the rapid downward trend Ireland has been experiencing".

He said the tighter labour market was demonstrated by the rising numer of “hard to fill roles” on Indeed’s website.

These were dominated by technology, but also included finance, legal and healthcare sector jobs, he said.

“More generally, an upward pressure on wage rates will almost certainly be one of the likely outcomes as the economy moves closer to full employment,” he said.

“ Pay growth in Ireland has been relatively subdued at 2.9 per cent annually, however some of the most in demand roles have seen considerably higher wage growth with finance up 6.1 per cent, and construction up 5 per cent,” he added.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times