Employment at highest level in 24 years with over 2.5 million working

Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released today shows that employment is at 73.5% for the second quarter of the year.

The Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2022 found that employment for people between 15 and 64 was up from 68.4% in Quarter 2 of last year.

The number of absences from work (temporary layoffs from work, family leave, or holidays) during a reference week this quarter was 187,200, compared to a peak of 468,500 absences recorded in Q2 2020, largely due to the pandemic.

In the same time there was a 9.4% rise in the number of hours worked per week.  This equates to an extra 7.1 million hours in the year to Quarter 2 2022, bringing the number of hours worked per week to a record high of 83 million.

There were 119,900 people classified as unemployed this quarter with an associated unemployment rate of 4.5% for those aged 15-74, down from 7.3% from the same time last year.  31.8% of people currently unemployed have been unemployed for a year or longer.

Tánaiste, and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar reacted to the data by stating on Twitter:  “More people working in Ireland than ever. Unemployment at 21 year low. Will not take it for granted. Understand some businesses still struggling, will continue to help & see what more we can do to protect and create jobs and businesses, improve wages and protections.”  A further Tweet added: “Priority is a job for everyone that wants one. Particularly happy today to see really strong jobs growth in all parts of the country, with very significant growth outside of Dublin.”

The Midlands region had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.7%, while the SouthEast had the highest at 5.5%.  Commenting on the publication, a CSO statistician, said that the pandemic had caused major changes to hospitality workers in particular.  “Employment increased in the year to Q2 2022 across most economic sectors with the largest increase in the Accommodation & Food Service (+39.2% or +47,300 people ) sector. However, employment in this sector at 168,200 remains below the Q2 2019 level of 180,800,” he said.

”The 4.8 million hours worked per week in the Accommodation & Food Services sector, while up from Q2 2020 (1.2 million), remains below the pre-pandemic (Q2 2019) figure of 5.4 million.”  The number of people not in the labour force was 1,424,800 which was down 3.9% or 57,900 from a year earlier.  The number of people employed in construction increased by 40,000, or 31.4%, in the year to the second quarter of 2022.  In public sectors workers, there was a slight decrease in those employed in the civil service and in education from Q2 of 2021 to Q1 of this year.

Source: The Journal.ie

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