Irish Economy
Irish economy adds 29,000 jobs in 2014; Labour force down 10,500; Broad jobless rate 19%
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Feb 25, 2015 - 11:56 AM

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There was an annual increase in employment of 1.5% in the Irish economy, or 29,100 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2014, bringing total employment to 1,938,900. This compares with an annual rise in jobs of 1.5% in the previous quarter and an increase of 3.3% in the year to Q4 2013. The labour force including the unemployed fell by 10,500 and the broad jobless rate dropped to 19%.

The CSO said that the increase in total employment of 29,100 in the year to Q4 2014 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 39,600 (+2.7%) and a decrease in part-time employment of 10,500 (-2.3%).

The number of full-time employee positions rose by 42,000 and is down 229,000 from Q1 2008.

Irish Economy: Only 8% of 90,000 jobs added in 2013/14 in Industry/ ICT sectors

Unemployment fell by 39,600 (-15.6%) in the year to Q4 2014 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 213,600 according to the International Labour Organisation's standard unemployment rate. This is the tenth quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis.

The long-term unemployment rate fell from 7.2% to 5.7% over the year to Q4 2014. Long-term unemployment accounted for 57.8% of total unemployment in Q4 2014 compared with 61.4% a year earlier and 59.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 2,152,500, representing a decrease of 10,500 (-0.5%) over the year. This compares with an annual labour force increase of 19,600 (+0.9%) in Q4 2013. The number of persons not in the labour force in Q4 2014 was 1,449,300, an increase of 15,000 (+1.0%) over the year.

The total labour force includes the unemployed and the participation rate fell to 59.8% from 63.5% in Q1 2008 — this reflects factors including net emigration.

CSO report

The broad jobless rate includes the 213,600 officially unemployed; 115,500 in part-time work seeking full-time work and 86,000 in public activation schemes.

Irish Economy 2015: January Live Register + schemes at 446,000 - broad jobless rate at 21%information on the broad jobless rate here. The rate of 21% was based on an estimate.

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Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, commented: "Today's QNHS data provide more good news on the Irish labour market. The unemployment rate has been revised down to 10.3% in January following another strong 0.5% jobs gain in the final quarter of 2014. The rotation into full-time work and strong 3% growth in private sector employment mean that the underlying improvement in the labour market was stronger than the 1.7% jobs growth in calendar year 2014 indicates.

Looking forward to 2015, the flow of jobs related to foreign direct investment remains strong and companies are still indicating that they are hiring workers at a rapid pace. We expect the headline unemployment rate will fall below 10% in early 2015, perhaps in the first quarter of the year.

The unemployment rate fell to 10.4% in the final quarter of 2014 and to 10.3% in January. The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 9.9% in the final quarter of 2014. The long-term unemployment rate fell to 5.7% (over 360 days unemployed) in Q4 2014, down sharply from 7.2% one year ago.

There was another strong quarter of employment growth in Q4 – a 0.5% gain on the quarter, up 1.5% on the year. Aggregate employment growth slowed slightly in 2014, held back by public sector job cuts. Private sector jobs grew by a rapid 3.2% annual pace in Q4. Also, full-time employment grew by 2.7%, offset by a 2.3% decline in part-time work. Data for the first three quarters show average hours per work up 0.5% in 2014, reflecting the rotation into full-time work. So the underlying picture is that labour market conditions are improving more quickly than the headline jobs growth figures suggest."

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