The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has recently issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q3 2021.
Using the standard International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 9.8% or 221,200 to 2,471,200 in the year to Q3 2021. Employment increased across all sectors with the largest rates of increase in the Accommodation & Food Service (+28.7% or +39,400) sector and in the Professional, Scientific & Technical activities (+17.3 or +24,300) sector. The Employment Rate for those aged 15-64 years was 72.2% in Q3 2021.
Absences from work in the reference week (e.g. temporary layoffs from work, family leave and holidays) have had a significant effect on the number of hours worked in the economy. Absences from work in the reference week were up by 19.5% to 303,200 over the year. This, together with an increase of 9.8% in employment, resulted in an increase of 6.0% or 4.3 million in the number of hours worked per week to 77.1 million in Q3 2021. The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors. The number of hours worked per week were higher than a year ago in almost all sectors in Q3 2021 and were approaching Q3 2019 levels in most sectors. The hours worked per week in the Accommodation & Food Services sector, while still below Q3 2019 levels, increased by 1.2 million hours per week (+32.4%) over the year to Q3 2021.
When the effects of COVID-19 are considered, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment, or lower bound of the number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment, is estimated to have been 2,369,731 at the end of September 2021 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate of 69.1% for those aged 15-64 years. By the end of October 2021, these are estimated to have stood at 2,393,394 and 69.8% respectively.
Using the standard ILO criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q3 2021 stood at 149,100 with an associated Unemployment Rate of 5.7%.
As part of the Monthly Unemployment Estimates release for October 2021, the CSO published COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Volumes and Rates for the end of September 2021 which corresponded to 232,866 persons and 8.9% respectively for persons aged 15-74 years. By the end of October 2021, they are estimated to have stood at 205,246 and 7.9% respectively.
In Q3 2021, using the standard methodology, the total number of persons in the labour force was up 7.9% or 191,100 to 2,620,300 from Q3 2020. The number of persons not in the labour force was 1,407,700 and that was down 9.5% or 147,100 from a year earlier.
Commenting on the report, Jim Dalton, Statistician, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a considerable impact on the Irish labour market and that impact was first felt at the end of Quarter 1 (Q1) 2020. As the CSO is obliged to follow standard definitions and methodology when calculating the official estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), it has been decided to compile the Quarter 3 (Q3) 2021 LFS estimates in the usual way and provide separate COVID-19 Adjusted Estimates. This approach preserves the methodology of the LFS while at the same time providing transparency around the current impact of COVID-19 on the labour market within Ireland.