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E-mail: labour@cso.ie Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491 Edel Flannery (+353) 21 453 5623
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information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5112
CSO statistical release, 23 February 2016, 11am

Quarterly National Household Survey

Quarter 4 2015

IndicatorQuarter 4 2015Annual change
Employed1,983,000 +44,100
In labour force2,170,500 +18,000
Not in labour force1,448,000 -1,300

Employment increases by 2.3% in year to Q4 2015

Figure 1 Numbers in employment (ILO) in the fourth quarters 2011 to 2015

There was an annual increase in employment of 2.3% or 44,100 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing total employment to 1,983,000.  This compares with an annual increase in employment of 2.9% in the previous quarter and an increase of 1.5% in the year to Q4 2014.

Summary points for Q4 2015

  • The increase in total employment of 44,100 in the year to Q4 2015 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 38,900 (+2.6%) and an increase in part-time employment of 5,200 (+1.2%). See table 1 and figure 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 4,700 (+0.2%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 9,600 (+0.5%) in Q3 2015, an increase of 16,000 (+0.8%) in Q2 2015, an increase of 14,300 (+0.7%) in Q1 2015 and an increase of 14,700 (+0.8%) in Q4 2014. See table 3.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 9.2% to 9.1% over the quarter, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed fell by 1,700. See table 3.
  • Unemployment decreased by 26,100 (-12.2%) in the year to Q4 2015 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 187,500. This is the fourteenth quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis. See table 1.
  • The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 5.8% to 4.7% over the year to Q4 2015.  Long-term unemployment accounted for 54.5% of total unemployment in Q4 2015 compared with 57.8% a year earlier and 61.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013. See table 6.
  • The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 2,170,500, representing an increase of 18,000 (+0.8%) over the year.  This compares with an annual labour force decrease of 10,500 (-0.5%) in Q4 2014.  The number of persons not in the labour force in Q4 2015 was 1,448,000, a decrease of 1,300 (-0.1%) over the year. See table 1.


After each Census of Population the sample of households for the QNHS is updated to ensure the sample remains representative. The new sample based on the 2011 Census of Population was introduced incrementally from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013. This change in sample can lead to some level of variability in estimates, particularly at more detailed levels and some caution is warranted in the interpretation of trends involving the period of its introduction.



  • The annual increase of 44,100 (+2.3%) in employment was represented by an increase of 18,900 (+1.8%) in male employment and an increase of 25,200 (+2.8%) in female employment over the year. See tables 1, 7 and figure 1.

  • Employment increased in twelve of the fourteen economic sectors over the year (excluding Not stated) and fell in two. The largest rates of increase were recorded in the Construction (+8.5% or 9,900) and the Other NACE Activities (+4.7% or 4,600) sectors. See table 2 and figure 2 below.

  • The greatest rate of decline in employment was recorded in the Financial, insurance and real estate activities (-3.9% or -4,000) sector. See table 2 and figure 2 below.

  • The overall employment rate among persons aged 15-64 was 63.9% in Q4 2015 compared to 62.6% in Q4 2014. See table 8.

  • The number of employees in Q4 2015 was 1,646,700, up 41,200 (+2.6%) over the year. The number of self-employed persons increased by 1,000 or +0.3% over the year to 321,300. See table 5.


NACE Rev.2 Economic SectorQ4 2014Q4 2015
1- Agriculture, forestry and fishing
2- Industry
3- Construction
4- Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
5- Transportation and storage
6- Accommodation and food storage activities
7- Information and communication
8- Financial, insurance and real estate activities
9- Professional, scientific and technical activities
10- Administrative and support service activities
11- Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
12- Education
13- Human health and social work activities
14- Other NACE activities


Public Sector Employment

  • Based on the higher response levels and lower levels of subjectivity associated with the Earnings, Hours and Employment Costs Survey (EHECS) the CSO believes it offers a more reliable source for public sector employment estimates over time. In particular, employment data coded to Sectors P (Education) and Q (Human health and social work activities) of the NACE Rev. 2 Industrial Classification which is presented in Tables 2a, 2b, 3a and 3b are not exclusively public sector employment.
  • Table A2 in the annex shows the most recently available estimates of public sector employment from the EHECS survey at the time of this release being finalised. An updated series will be issued with the next Earnings and Labour Costs release which is due to be published shortly.



  • Male unemployment decreased by 12,500 (-9.2%) to 123,000 over the year to Q4 2015, while female unemployment decreased by 13,600 (-17.5%) to 64,400 over the same period. See tables 1 and 7.

  • The overall unadjusted unemployment rate decreased from 10.0% to 8.7% over the year to Q4 2015. See tables 1 and 8.

  • In the year to Q4 2015, the number of persons classified as long-term unemployed decreased by 21,300 (-17.2%), bringing total long-term unemployment to 102,100. Short-term unemployment decreased by 6,100 (-7.2%) over the year to 79,200. See table 6 and figure 3 below.

  • The unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds (youth unemployment rate) decreased from 20.3% to 18.9% over the year to Q4 2015. See table 8.

Q4 12 Male63000131700
Q4 15 Male4420074700
Q4 12 Female5320044700
Q4 15 Female3500027500
  • A new series of Monthly Unemployment statistics was first issued by the CSO in June 2015 for reference month May while the most recent publication was issued in February for reference month January. The Monthly Unemployment release contains a new series of monthly unemployment rates and volumes. It is based primarily on the QNHS while data for more recent periods for which no QNHS benchmark is available is adjusted for trends in the Live Register and is compiled in accordance with agreed international practice. These statistics are the definitive measure of Monthly Unemployment and have replaced the SUR (which has now been discontinued).

  • The previously published seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment figures are now revised with the availability of new QNHS benchmark unemployment estimates for Q4 2015. The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for December is now revised from 8.8% to 9.0%, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed is revised from 189,700 to 195,700.
  • The provisional estimates for January 2016 have also been revised and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January is now estimated to have been 8.9% while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed is now estimated to have been 192,700. The full series of revised monthly unemployment rates and volumes are included in Tables A3, A4 and A5.


Labour force

  • As with employment, the number of persons in the labour force is also influenced by changes in the size of the working age population (demographic effect).  Up to the start of 2008 this demographic effect had been adding 65,000 or more to the labour force on an annual basis, primarily driven by net inward migration.  This demographic effect peaked at almost 88,000 in the second quarter of 2007. See tables 1 and 7.

  • With the decline in inward migration the positive demographic effect started to fall in the second half of 2007 and continued to decline throughout 2008 and 2009 before becoming negative in Q4 2009. In Q4 2015 this negative demographic effect contributed a decrease of 3,800 to the overall change in the labour force. This negative demographic effect is exclusively concentrated in the 20-24 and 25-34 age groups.
  • In addition to the demographic effect the change in the size of the labour force is influenced by changes in participation. While a relatively low increase in the participation rate was recorded overall (increasing by 0.2 percentage points over the year to 60.0%) there was a range of increases and decreases recorded across age groups. The net effect of these competing increases and decreases was a positive participation rate effect of 21,800. See tables 1 and 8.
  • Of those persons not in the labour force, the number classified as being in the potential additional labour force was 31,500, representing a decrease of 7,400 (-19.0%) in the year to the fourth quarter of 2015. See table 1.


International Comparisons

  • The employment rate in Ireland increased by 1.6 percentage points to 63.8% over the year to Q3 2015. The employment rate in the EU-28 in Q3 2015 was 66.1%. See table 11.
  • The unadjusted unemployment rate among the EU-28 countries in the third quarter of 2015 was 9.0%, while the comparable rate in Ireland was 9.3%.  The highest unemployment rates among the EU-28 countries in Q3 2015 were recorded in Greece and Spain (24.1% and 21.2% respectively) while the lowest rate of 4.4% was recorded in Germany. See table 11.
  • The latest figures available at the time of finalising this release indicate that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the EU-28 for December 2015 was 9.0%, the revised seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate also stood at 9.0% for Ireland for the same period.
Table 1 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by sex and ILO Economic Status
ILO Economic StatusQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
In labour force 1,197.11,198.81,188.61,185.11,196.51,209.11,195.0
In employment 1,038.21,048.51,053.11,049.41,064.91,081.81,072.0
full-time 891.3902.2915.2912.8923.3942.4933.9
part-time 146.9146.3137.9136.6141.6139.4138.1
of which:part-time, not underemployed83.288.083.883.486.690.090.5
  part-time, underemployed63.758.454.
Unemployed 158.9150.3135.5135.7131.6127.3123.0
seeking full-time work/future job-starter144.7138.4125.1125.6123.7116.6113.2
seeking part-time work 6.86.5[4.1][3.8][3.2][5.1][4.7]
seeking work as self-employed7.[5.1]
Not in labour force 569.4563.9574.6580.3566.6560.6576.0
Potential additional labour force 27.427.721.121.522.019.117.9
Others 542.0536.2553.5558.8544.6541.5558.1
Total males aged 15 or over 1,766.51,762.71,763.21,765.41,763.11,769.71,771.0
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)13.312.611.511.511.110.610.4
Participation rate % 67.868.067.467.167.968.367.5
In labour force 966.0973.6963.9957.2973.5976.9975.5
In employment 871.6878.4885.9880.1893.8901.2911.1
full-time 561.7572.5577.4576.8584.8591.7597.6
part-time 310.0305.9308.5303.3309.0309.4313.4
of which:part-time, not underemployed230.3239.9247.0241.8244.3252.3257.0
  part-time, underemployed79.665.961.461.664.657.156.4
Unemployed 94.395.
seeking full-time work/future job-starter71.973.559.859.361.158.146.5
seeking part-time work 21.020.617.216.917.316.116.8
seeking work as self-employed*******
Not in labour force 864.9859.3874.7884.6870.5866.7872.0
Potential additional labour force 21.920.117.717.817.515.813.6
Others 843.0839.2857.0866.8853.0850.9858.4
Total females aged 15 or over 1,830.91,832.91,838.61,841.91,844.01,843.51,847.5
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)
Participation rate % 52.853.152.452.052.853.052.8
All persons       
In labour force 2,163.12,172.42,152.52,142.42,169.92,186.02,170.5
In employment 1,909.81,926.91,938.91,929.51,958.71,983.01,983.0
full-time 1,453.01,474.71,492.61,489.61,508.11,534.11,531.5
part-time 456.8452.2446.4439.9450.6448.8451.6
of which:part-time, not underemployed313.5327.9330.9325.1331.0342.4347.5
  part-time, underemployed143.3124.3115.5114.8119.6106.5104.0
Unemployed 253.2245.5213.6212.8211.2203.0187.5
seeking full-time work/future job-starter216.6211.9185.0185.0184.7174.7159.7
seeking part-time work 27.827.121.420.720.421.121.5
seeking work as self-employed8.
Not in labour force 1,434.31,423.21,449.31,464.91,437.21,427.31,448.0
Potential additional labour force 49.347.838.839.339.534.931.5
Others 1,385.01,375.41,410.51,425.61,397.61,392.41,416.6
Total persons aged 15 or over 3,597.43,595.63,601.93,607.33,607.13,613.33,618.5
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)11.811.310.
Participation rate % 60.160.459.859.460.260.560.0
Employment rate % (Persons aged 15-64)       
Male  66.567.667.967.668.769.569.0
Female  56.457.057.456.957.658.259.0
Total persons  61.462.262.662.263.163.863.9
See Background Notes for further information regarding minor modifications to calculation of unemployment rate
Table 2 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment (ILO) classified by sex and NACE Rev.2 Economic Sector
Economic sector (NACE Rev.2)Q4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing102.096.293.995.399.299.194.9
B-FTotal Industry271.0278.1285.4292.2295.8304.9296.0
G-UTotal Services664.4670.2671.8660.2666.7674.2678.4
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles138.3137.6140.5138.9138.5143.1142.8
HTransportation and storage 73.270.772.473.
IAccommodation and food service activities66.566.664.160.463.761.365.5
JInformation and communication60.
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities45.350.351.650.850.847.745.4
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities67.770.772.164.469.473.171.0
NAdministrative and support service activities33.731.832.631.132.432.935.7
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security48.850.749.250.650.751.551.0
QHuman health and social work activities49.351.747.348.246.749.147.9
R-UOther NACE activities 40.541.939.841.840.042.143.4
Not stated*[4.0]**[3.2][3.6]*
Total males1,038.21,048.51,053.11,049.41,064.91,081.81,072.0
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing14.813.412.012.513.313.611.5
B-FTotal Industry76.273.075.976.075.974.879.0
G-UTotal Services780.2790.1796.5790.4801.4809.5816.6
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles132.1137.6136.2131.6133.3130.7136.6
HTransportation and storage 16.516.817.817.615.714.816.1
IAccommodation and food service activities69.273.273.471.973.078.677.6
JInformation and communication22.523.325.324.325.325.625.9
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities51.752.950.251.651.952.152.4
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities47.546.245.044.846.349.548.3
NAdministrative and support service activities30.833.433.031.031.435.031.4
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security46.247.445.647.249.649.848.1
QHuman health and social work activities200.4197.8201.6198.4202.4204.3205.9
R-UOther NACE activities 57.559.858.361.262.262.759.3
Not stated****[3.2][3.2][3.9]
Total females871.6878.4885.9880.1893.8901.2911.1
All persons       
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing116.8109.7105.9107.8112.5112.7106.4
B-FTotal Industry347.2351.2361.3368.2371.7379.7375.0
G-UTotal Services1,444.61,460.21,468.21,450.51,468.11,483.81,495.0
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles270.4275.2276.7270.5271.7273.8279.4
HTransportation and storage 89.687.590.290.792.890.093.8
IAccommodation and food service activities135.7139.8137.5132.3136.7139.9143.1
JInformation and communication82.579.383.581.882.383.785.4
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities97.1103.1101.8102.3102.799.897.8
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities115.2116.9117.1109.3115.8122.6119.3
NAdministrative and support service activities64.565.265.662.163.868.067.1
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security95.098.194.797.8100.4101.399.1
QHuman health and social work activities249.6249.5248.9246.5249.1253.4253.7
R-UOther NACE activities 98.0101.698.1103.0102.1104.8102.7
Not stated*5.8[3.6]*
Total persons1,909.81,926.91,938.91,929.51,958.71,983.01,983.0
Table 3 Seasonally adjusted series of persons aged 15 years and over classified by sex, ILO Economic Status and NACE Rev.2 Economic Sector
ILO Economic Status/NACE Rev.2 Economic SectorQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
In labour force1,200.21,188.01,191.71,193.51,196.11,197.71,198.3
In employment1,034.61,040.31,049.61,058.01,068.51,072.61,068.7
 of which:Full-time 885.9898.4908.6918.5928.4938.5926.6
  Part-time 147.2144.5138.4138.2141.2137.8138.8
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing102.695.494.596.598.298.095.7
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles138.2137.9139.8138.5139.4143.3141.9
HTransportation and storage 72.571.171.773.077.375.776.9
IAccommodation and food service activities65.965.363.561.964.260.164.7
JInformation and communication59.756.357.658.456.558.558.6
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities45.149.951.551.250.947.345.4
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities67.970.672.364.469.473.071.0
NAdministrative and support service activities33.431.332.231.632.632.635.1
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security48.950.549.350.551.051.251.2
QHuman health and social work activities50.150.348.248.846.547.848.7
R-UOther NACE activities 41.741.140.941.440.041.344.7
Not in labour force566.6573.4571.5570.7569.9570.2572.7
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)13.812.611.911.510.810.610.7
Participation rate %67.967.567.667.767.767.867.6
In labour force967.9968.6965.1965.3969.2971.9976.2
In employment868.1876.7881.8886.4893.6899.3906.6
 of which:Full-time 560.3570.0575.8581.0584.8589.4595.8
  Part-time 307.9307.1306.7303.6309.4310.1312.0
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing15.
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles131.3135.9135.1133.4134.2129.4135.2
HTransportation and storage 16.317.217.617.615.615.215.8
IAccommodation and food service activities69.870.873.974.072.976.078.1
JInformation and communication22.223.424.924.825.125.825.5
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities51.952.450.351.852.051.652.6
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities47.246.044.845.046.748.948.3
NAdministrative and support service activities30.731.732.832.232.333.231.1
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security46.846.846.347.648.949.249.1
QHuman health and social work activities198.3198.2199.3199.7203.0204.7203.5
R-UOther NACE activities 58.358.559.361.562.161.460.5
Not in labour force862.1865.2872.8875.5875.2872.8870.9
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)
Participation rate %52.952.852.552.452.652.752.9
All persons       
In labour force2,168.82,154.42,158.22,158.02,166.82,167.42,176.4
In employment1,902.31,916.51,931.31,945.51,961.51,971.11,975.8
 of which:Full-time 1,447.21,465.31,486.41,501.31,513.01,523.11,526.0
  Part-time 455.3452.1444.8441.1451.1448.4450.1
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing117.8108.3106.9109.1111.6111.2107.5
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles269.3274.2274.7271.9273.2273.3276.8
HTransportation and storage 89.588.089.890.892.590.793.2
IAccommodation and food service activities136.3136.2137.9135.6136.6136.3143.4
JInformation and communication81.779.782.582.981.984.184.1
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate activities97.2102.1102.0103.0102.998.898.1
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities115.2115.7117.1110.1116.5120.8119.3
NAdministrative and support service activities64.663.365.563.664.266.066.9
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security95.597.295.498.2100.1100.499.9
QHuman health and social work activities248.6248.2247.9248.6249.2252.2252.7
R-UOther NACE activities 99.5100.699.5102.9101.8103.8104.2
Not in labour force1,428.31,438.71,443.91,446.41,445.11,443.21,443.0
Unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)
Participation rate %60.360.059.959.960.060.060.1
See Background Notes for further detail. The not stated group presented in Table 2 has not been separately seasonally adjusted.
See Background Notes for further information regarding minor modifications to calculation of unemployment rate and coherence with monthly unemployment estimates
Table 4 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment (ILO) classified by sex and occupation (SOC2010)
Broad occupational groupQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
1.Managers, directors and senior officials101.6103.8107.7106.2108.3107.3108.6
3.Associate professional and technical134.8134.5135.8134.6136.3138.3141.7
4.Administrative and secretarial40.941.441.941.142.643.539.4
5.Skilled trades277.1282.1277.8283.0287.6289.1285.7
6.Caring, leisure and other services23.829.128.329.227.727.926.6
7.Sales and customer service54.655.358.058.458.860.656.5
8.Process, plant and machine operatives122.0119.2119.4120.6125.1131.2128.9
Other/Not stated[4.3]*6.49.1
Total males1,038.21,048.51,053.11,049.41,064.91,081.81,072.0
1.Managers, directors and senior officials49.349.150.650.
3.Associate professional and technical85.391.491.091.595.196.095.5
4.Administrative and secretarial169.8171.5168.5165.5163.4165.2167.1
5.Skilled trades27.428.930.429.128.526.126.9
6.Caring, leisure and other services123.7123.3125.8128.1129.5133.9135.2
7.Sales and customer service105.8106.3106.1103.9104.9104.4104.1
8.Process, plant and machine operatives21.021.521.721.520.718.720.1
 Other/Not stated*[3.6][3.6][4.1][2.9]5.17.4
Total females871.6878.4885.9880.1893.8901.2911.1
All persons       
1.Managers, directors and senior officials150.9152.8158.4156.3163.4162.4165.1
3.Associate professional and technical220.1225.9226.8226.1231.4234.3237.3
4.Administrative and secretarial210.7212.9210.4206.6205.9208.7206.6
5.Skilled trades304.5311.0308.2312.1316.1315.2312.6
6.Caring, leisure and other services147.5152.4154.1157.3157.1161.8161.8
7.Sales and customer service160.4161.6164.1162.4163.7165.0160.6
8.Process, plant and machine operatives143.0140.7141.1142.2145.8149.9149.0
 Other/Not stated6.110.09.810.35.411.416.6
Total persons1,909.81,926.91,938.91,929.51,958.71,983.01,983.0
Note: From Q1 2011 occupational estimates are now captured and coded on the basis of the newer UK SOC2010 classification.
The CSO has re-coded previous quarters to 2007 inclusive on the basis of the text string captured under the old UK SOC90
classification. As with the introduction of any new classification comparability of estimates over time can be impacted - users
should bear this in mind when comparing results from quarters prior to Q1 2011 to those from Q1 2011 onwards.
Table 5 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment (ILO) classified by sex and employment status
Employment statusQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
 Self employed (with paid employees)66.669.574.271.272.772.271.0
 Self employed (with no paid employees)193.4184.0182.6184.1189.1184.3183.1
 Total self employed260.0253.5256.8255.2261.9256.6254.1
 Assisting relative5.
 Total males1,038.21,048.51,053.11,049.41,064.91,081.81,072.0
 Self employed (with paid employees)21.819.219.218.520.921.221.9
 Self employed (with no paid employees)42.744.944.345.144.745.345.2
 Total self employed64.564.163.563.665.666.567.2
 Assisting relative8.
 Total females871.6878.4885.9880.1893.8901.2911.1
All persons       
 Self employed (with paid employees)88.488.793.489.693.693.492.9
 Self employed (with no paid employees)236.1228.9226.9229.2233.9229.6228.4
 Total self employed324.5317.6320.2318.8327.5323.0321.3
 Assisting relative13.914.513.212.215.315.715.0
 Total persons1,909.81,926.91,938.91,929.51,958.71,983.01,983.0
Table 6 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by sex and duration of unemployment (ILO)
Duration of unemployment (ILO)Q4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
 Less than 1 year48.652.845.845.547.147.844.2
 1 year and over108.794.986.388.081.075.774.7
 Not stated*[2.6][3.5]*[3.4][3.8][4.2]
 Total males158.9150.3135.5135.7131.6127.3123.0
 Less than 1 year46.649.539.537.040.939.835.0
 1 year and over46.844.337.239.237.634.127.5
 Not stated*******
 Total females94.395.
All persons       
 Less than 1 year95.2102.485.382.588.187.579.2
 1 year and over155.5139.2123.4127.2118.6109.8102.1
 Not stated*[3.9]4.9[3.2]
 Total persons253.2245.5213.6212.8211.2203.0187.5
Long-term unemployment rate % (Persons aged 15-74)
See Background Notes for further information regarding minor modifications to calculation of unemployment rate
Table 7 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by ILO economic status, sex, age group and quarter
 Employed Unemployed In labour force
   Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15 Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15 Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15
 15-1914.515.414.6 20.822.321.5
 20-2465.062.361.2 21.717.915.1 86.780.276.4
 Total 15-24 (Youths)79.477.775.8 28.124.822.0 107.5102.597.8
 25-34250.4245.9237.7 295.5281.0270.1
 35-44284.6294.6298.7 37.831.028.3 322.4325.6327.0
 45-54238.0241.8250.2 26.926.723.1 264.9268.5273.3
 55-5987.289.295.5 12.011.610.1 99.2100.8105.5
 60-6458.260.166.8 66.866.172.7
 65+40.443.647.4 *** 40.844.148.6
 Total males1,038.21,053.11,072.0 158.9135.5123.0 1,197.11,188.61,195.0
 15-1913.515.615.7 6.05.2[3.4] 19.520.719.2
 20-2459.859.156.5 74.567.965.5
 Total 15-24 (Youths)73.374.672.2 20.713.912.4 94.088.684.7
 25-34248.5242.4241.4 276.8267.4258.4
 35-44240.4250.8257.8 20.216.315.3 260.6267.1273.1
 45-54186.2192.5203.6 17.714.714.1 203.9207.3217.7
 55-5969.970.774.8 [4.2]4.8[2.9] 74.175.577.7
 60-6438.140.444.9 [3.1][2.7]*
 65+15.214.516.4 *** 15.415.016.6
 Total females871.6885.9911.1 94.378.164.4 966.0963.9975.5
All persons           
 15-1928.031.030.3 12.312.110.3 40.343.140.7
 20-24124.8121.4117.7 36.426.724.1 161.2148.1141.8
 Total 15-24 (Youths)152.8152.4148.0 48.838.834.5 201.5191.1182.5
 25-34498.9488.3479.1 73.360.149.4 572.3548.4528.5
 35-44525.0545.4556.5 58.047.343.6 583.0592.7600.1
 45-54424.3434.4453.7 44.641.437.3 468.9475.8491.0
 55-59157.1159.9170.3 16.216.413.0 173.3176.3183.2
 60-6496.2100.5111.7 107.9109.2120.0
 65+55.658.163.7 ***
 Total persons1,909.81,938.91,983.0 253.2213.6187.5 2,163.12,152.52,170.5
Table 8 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by key economic rates, sex, age group and quarter
 Employment rate (15-64) Unemployment rate (15-74) Participation rate
   Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15 Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15 Q4 13Q4 14Q4 15
 15-1910.110.69.9 30.531.032.1 14.615.314.6
 20-2450.250.051.8 25.122.319.8 67.064.464.5
 Total 15-24 (Youths)29.228.828.5 39.537.936.8
 25-3474.277.277.3 15.312.512.0 87.688.287.9
 35-4480.583.283.6 91.191.991.5
 45-5479.779.881.2 88.788.688.7
 55-5969.269.973.1 78.779.080.8
 60-6452.053.157.9 59.758.363.0
 65+::: 15.315.917.0
 Total males66.567.969.0 13.311.510.4 67.867.467.5
 15-1910.111.411.3 30.624.918.0 14.515.213.8
 20-2448.450.350.4 19.713.013.7 60.257.858.4
 Total 15-24 (Youths)28.429.428.7 22.015.714.7 36.434.933.7
 25-3468.969.472.5 76.776.677.7
 35-4467.269.169.6 72.973.673.7
 45-5461.762.765.3 67.567.669.8
 60-6433.635.138.1 36.337.440.2
 Total females56.457.459.0 52.852.452.8
All persons           
 15-1910.111.010.6 30.628.025.5 14.515.314.2
 20-2449.350.251.1 22.618.017.0 63.761.261.5
 Total 15-24 (Youths)28.829.128.6 24.220.318.9 38.036.535.3
 25-3471.573.174.8 12.811.09.3
 35-4473.876.176.5 82.082.682.5
 55-5961.962.264.6 68.368.569.5
 60-6442.744.047.9 47.947.851.5
 65+::: 9.79.910.6
 Total persons61.462.663.9 11.810.08.7 60.159.860.0
See Background Notes for further information regarding minor modifications to calculation of unemployment rate
Table 9 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions and ILO Economic Status
RegionQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
Border, Midland and Western       
 In employment ('000)482.9485.4480.6481.7492.3494.8494.4
 Unemployed ('000)71.767.958.460.957.858.954.1
 In labour force ('000)554.6553.3539.0542.6550.2553.7548.5
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)13.012.410.911.310.610.79.9
 Participation rate (%)58.658.657.257.658.458.758.2
 In employment ('000)185.8190.7185.8190.7193.1195.4195.0
 Unemployed ('000)29.025.320.621.520.019.918.6
 In labour force ('000)214.8216.0206.4212.2213.1215.2213.6
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)13.611.810.
 Participation rate (%)
 In employment ('000)111.1112.8113.7114.0116.0119.2120.8
 Unemployed ('000)17.619.
 In labour force ('000)128.8131.9130.9130.1132.5136.0135.4
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)13.814.613.212.512.512.410.9
 Participation rate (%)59.059.759.158.559.160.460.3
 In employment ('000)185.9181.9181.1177.0183.3180.2178.6
 Unemployed ('000)25.023.520.623.221.322.220.8
 In labour force ('000)210.9205.4201.7200.2204.6202.4199.5
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)12.011.510.311.710.511.110.6
 Participation rate (%)62.260.559.559.160.359.758.8
Southern and Eastern       
 In employment ('000)1,427.01,441.51,458.31,447.81,466.41,488.21,488.6
 Unemployed ('000)181.5177.6155.2151.9153.4144.1133.4
 In labour force ('000)1,608.51,619.11,613.51,599.81,619.81,632.31,622.0
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)11.311.
 Participation rate (%)60.761.160.760.060.861.160.6
 In employment ('000)572.1576.5587.5584.9591.8605.6610.4
 Unemployed ('000)63.265.455.556.251.852.250.0
 In labour force ('000)635.3641.9642.9641.1643.6657.8660.4
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)
 Participation rate (%)
 In employment ('000)225.9229.6237.9234.6232.7231.2235.8
 Unemployed ('000)32.227.422.019.722.220.319.3
 In labour force ('000)258.1257.0259.9254.3254.9251.5255.1
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)12.510.
 Participation rate (%)63.362.362.661.361.660.861.5
 In employment ('000)151.3155.6152.8148.6152.3157.4153.1
 Unemployed ('000)
 In labour force ('000)169.5175.6170.1165.4171.4174.4167.1
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)10.711.410.
 Participation rate (%)57.259.657.756.258.259.557.1
 In employment ('000)197.1202.6204.5201.9206.6207.4205.4
 Unemployed ('000)
 In labour force ('000)233.3234.8232.2231.5236.1236.0233.1
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)15.613.812.012.812.612.111.9
 Participation rate (%)59.159.658.758.559.959.758.6
 In employment ('000)280.6277.2275.6277.8283.0286.5283.9
 Unemployed ('000)31.832.632.729.730.926.122.4
 In labour force ('000)312.4309.8308.3307.5313.9312.7306.3
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)10.210.610.
 Participation rate (%)58.758.458.258.259.559.358.1
 In employment ('000)1,909.81,926.91,938.91,929.51,958.71,983.01,983.0
 Unemployed ('000)253.2245.5213.6212.8211.2203.0187.5
 In labour force ('000)2,163.12,172.42,152.52,142.42,169.92,186.02,170.5
 Unemployment rate (%) (Persons aged 15-74)11.811.310.
 Participation rate (%)60.160.459.859.460.260.560.0
See Background Notes for further information regarding minor modifications to calculation of unemployment rate
Table 10 Persons aged 15 years and over classified by Principal Economic Status (PES)
Principal Economic StatusQ4 13Q3 14Q4 14Q1 15Q2 15Q3 15Q4 15
 At work1,008.61,014.71,025.31,025.51,038.51,052.21,050.6
 Home duties11.29.610.010.69.511.510.4
 Total males1,766.51,762.71,763.21,765.41,763.11,769.71,771.0
 At work840.5844.8852.6851.3864.3870.6879.8
 Home duties462.4460.7466.3464.9467.2465.6448.0
 Total females1,830.91,832.91,838.61,841.91,844.01,843.51,847.5
All persons       
 At work1,849.11,859.51,877.91,876.81,902.81,922.81,930.5
 Home duties473.7470.3476.3475.5476.7477.1458.4
 Total persons3,597.43,595.63,601.93,607.33,607.13,613.33,618.5
Note: The Principal Economic Status (PES) classification is based on a respondent's own subjective assessment - see Background Notes.
Table 11 Labour Force Survey results classified by ILO Economic Status for persons in EU member states
  Employment rate % (15-64 years) Unemployment rate % (15-74 years) Participation rate % (15 years and over)
  Q3 13Q3 14Q3 15Annual change Q3 13Q3 14Q3 15Annual change Q3 13Q3 14Q3 15Annual change
     Q3 15 pp    Q3 15 pp    Q3 15 pp
EU2864.565.366.10.8 57.757.857.7-0.1
EU1565.365.966.50.6 10.710.19.3-0.8
Eurozone63.864.264.90.7 11.511.110.3-0.8
Belgium62.362.062.10.1 54.053.653.3-0.3
Bulgaria61.162.864.51.7 54.855.254.9-0.3
Czech Republic68.069.370.51.2 59.559.459.50.1
Denmark73.073.773.70.0 62.862.962.3-0.6
Germany73.874.274.20.0 60.560.760.3-0.4
Estonia68.870.374.03.7 61.362.063.41.4
Ireland61. 60.760.460.50.1
Greece49. 27.225.624.1-1.5 52.251.952.30.4
Spain55.256.558.41.9 25.723.721.2-2.5 59.458.958.8-0.1
France64.664.164.10.0 9.49.910.00.1 56.656.256.1-0.1
Croatia 53.756.957.50.6 16.815.715.5-0.2 51.653.653.5-0.1
Italy55.556.056.70.7 11.311.810.6-1.2 48.348.848.6-0.2
Cyprus61.862.662.2-0.4 16.316.114.8-1.3 63.564.162.7-1.4
Latvia66.066.368.62.3 11.810.69.7-0.9 60.259.360.41.1
Lithuania64.567.268.00.8 58.259.359.30.0
Luxembourg66.066.065.5-0.5 59.759.659.90.3
Hungary58.962.664.82.2 52.654.155.21.1
Malta61.463.565.21.7 53.854.855.40.6
Netherlands73.773.574.51.0 65.064.364.40.1
Austria72.471.972.10.2 61.861.361.50.2
Poland60.762.563.51.0 56.256.556.4-0.1
Portugal 61.263.464.41.0 15.813.312.1-1.2 59.459.258.6-0.6
Romania61.362.663.20.6 55.456.155.9-0.2
Slovenia64.564.666.72.1 57.857.958.10.2
Slovakia60.061.363.01.7 14.112.911.3-1.6 59.359.559.80.3
Sweden75.876.576.90.4 64.965.665.3-0.3
United Kingdom70.872.272.90.7 63.062.962.90.0
Source: Eurostat
Note:Trends in some member states may be affected by changes in methodology
 pp refers to percentage point change
 Eurozone consists of EU15 states (with the exceptions of Denmark, Sweden and United Kingdom), Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia
Table A1 Estimated number of persons aged 15 years and over classified by nationality and ILO Economic Status
Nationality   ILO Economic Status Total
   In employmentUnemployedIn labour forceNot in labour force      
Q4 15         
Irish nationals 1,682.2152.81,834.91,286.8 3,121.7
Non-Irish nationals300.934.7335.6161.2 496.8
of which:      
 United Kingdom53.5[6.5]60.047.0 107.0
 EU15 excl. Irl and UK17.5*18.26.2 24.4
 EU15 to EU28137.914.3152.240.4 192.6
 Other92.013.2105.267.6 172.8
Total persons1,983.0187.52,170.51,448.0 3,618.5
Q4 14         
Irish nationals 1,653.4176.41,829.71,284.8 3,114.5
Non-Irish nationals285.637.2322.8164.6 487.4
of which:      
 United Kingdom51.0[8.0]59.046.9 105.9
 EU15 excl. Irl and UK20.5*22.07.7 29.8
 EU15 to EU28133.515.7149.240.1 189.3
 Other80.512.092.569.9 162.4
Total persons1,938.9213.62,152.51,449.3 3,601.9
Year on year changes       
Irish nationals 28.8- 7.2
Non-Irish nationals15.3-2.512.8-3.4 9.4
of which:      
 United Kingdom2.5[-1.5]1.00.1 1.1
 EU15 excl. Irl and UK-3.0*-3.8-1.5 -5.4
 EU15 to EU284.4- 3.3
 Other11.51.212.7-2.3 10.4
Total persons44.1-26.118.0-1.3 16.7
Note: Persons whose nationality is not stated are included with Irish nationals
Table A2 Number of employees in the Public Sector by sub-sector and in the Private Sector
      Q4 12Q4 13Q4 14Q3 15Q4 15
Civil Service39.438.938.238.3:
Garda Siochána13.413.012.812.7:
Regional bodies34.
Total Public Sector excluding Semi-State bodies330.9327.6322.4323.6:
Semi-State bodies 50.948.951.752.7:
Total Public Sector including Semi-State bodies381.8376.5374.1376.3:
Total Private Sector1,143.31,170.81,209.31,243.3:
¹Preliminary data         
: Employment data from the Earnings, Hours Worked and Employment Cost Survey (EHECS) data not available at time of release.
Updated series will be issued with the next Earnings and Labour Costs quarterly release.
Table A3 Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - All persons aged 15-74 years 
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2014January163,50099,100262,600 13.710.312.2  
 February164,30097,100261,400 13.810.112.1  
 March162,80095,600258,400 13.79.912.0  
 April160,70091,000251,700 13.69.511.7  
 May158,50090,200248,700 13.49.411.6  
 June155,00089,500244,600 13.19.311.4  
 July151,80090,800242,600 12.89.411.3  
 August148,80091,000239,800 12.69.411.2  
 October142,50085,600228,000 12.18.910.6  
 November140,10082,400222,500 11.98.610.4  
 December138,30080,600218,900 11.78.410.2  
2015January137,50079,400216,900 11.68.310.1  
Table A4 Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 15-24 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2014January30,00022,20052,200 27.823.725.9
 February30,80021,60052,400 28.523.426.1
 March29,80021,40051,200 28.023.425.8
 April28,80021,00049,800 27.323.225.4
 May28,10020,40048,600 26.922.724.9
 June27,30019,80047,100 26.421.924.3
 July26,90019,00045,900 26.320.723.7
 August26,80018,10044,900 26.219.723.1
 September26,40017,30043,600 25.718.922.5
 October26,40016,20042,600 25.517.922.0
 November26,40015,60042,000 25.417.521.7
 December26,30015,50041,800 25.117.721.7
2015January26,60015,80042,400 25.218.322.1
 February26,70015,70042,400 25.218.522.2
 March25,20015,50040,700 24.218.321.5
 April24,10015,30039,400 23.517.720.9
 May23,40015,20038,600 23.017.620.5
 June23,20015,10038,200 22.817.420.3
 July23,50015,40038,900 22.917.720.5
 August23,70015,40039,100 23.117.820.7
 September23,90015,20039,100 23.417.720.8
 October23,50014,30037,800 23.516.920.5
 November23,40014,10037,600 23.616.720.5
 December23,50014,10037,600 23.616.420.3
2016January23,20014,30037,500 23.316.820.3
Table A5 Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 25-74 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2014January133,40076,900210,400 12.38.810.8
 February133,50075,500209,000 12.48.710.7
 March133,00074,200207,200 12.38.510.6
 August122,00072,900194,900 11.38.310.0

Background Notes

Purpose of Survey

The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) began in September 1997, replacing the annual April Labour Force Survey (LFS). The purpose of the survey is the production of quarterly labour force estimates and occasional reports on special social topics. The survey meets the requirements of Council Regulation (EC) No. 577/98, adopted in March 1998, which requires the introduction of quarterly labour force surveys in EU member states.

Reference Period

Information is collected continuously throughout the year from households surveyed each week in each quarter. Up to and including the fourth quarter of 2008 the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) operated on a seasonal quarter basis since its establishment in Q4 1997. As of the first quarter of 2009 the QNHS is now undertaken on a calendar quarter basis.

The reference quarters for survey results are:

Q1 - January to March, Q2 - April to June, Q3 - July to September and Q4 - October to December.

Data Collection

Information is collected on laptop computers, using computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) software.

Sample Design

A two-stage sample design is used. A new sample was introduced in Q4 2012 following the 2011 Census of Population. The sample frame of households is clustered into blocks (small areas) with each block containing a minimum of 60 occupied households on the night of the 2011 Census of Population. The sample frame is stratified using administrative county and population density. In the first stage 1,300 blocks are selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling and in the second stage 20 households are selected using Simple Random Sampling (SRS). This ensures that each household in the sample frame has an equal probability of selection and results in a total quarterly sample of 26,000 households. The actual achieved sample varies over time depending on the level of response.

The number of valid responding households in Q4 2015 was 16,780.

Households are asked to take part in the survey for five consecutive quarters and are then replaced by other households in the same block. Thus, one fifth of the households in the survey are replaced each quarter and the QNHS sample involves an overlap of 80% between consecutive quarters and 20% between the same quarter in consecutive years. As the new sample based on the 2011 Census of Population was introduced incrementally across each quarter from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013, the new sample is fully effective from Q4 2013.

The survey results are weighted to agree with population estimates broken down by age, sex and region and are also calibrated to nationality control totals.  The population estimates for April of each year are published in a separate release.

Statistical significance

All estimates based on sample surveys are subject to error, some of which is measurable. Where an estimate is statistically significantly different from another estimate it means that we can be 95% confident that differences between those two estimates are not due to sampling error.

Usual residence and de facto population concepts

Up to and including Q1 2006 the annual population estimates were calculated using the de facto definition of population (i.e. all persons present in the state). Since Q2 2006 a new concept of usual residence has been used, i.e. all persons usually resident and present in the state plus absent persons who are usually resident in Ireland but are temporarily away from home and outside the state.                      

ILO Labour Force Classification

The primary classification used for the QNHS results is the ILO (International Labour Office) labour force classification.  Labour Force Survey data on this basis have been published since 1988.  The ILO classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 or over:

In Employment: Persons who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business and all persons who had a job but were not at work because of illness, holidays etc. in the week.

Unemployed: Persons who, in the week before the survey, were without work and available for work within the next two weeks, and had taken specific steps, in the preceding four weeks, to find work. It should be noted that as per Eurostat’s operational implementation, the upper age limit for classifying a person as unemployed is 74 years.

Inactive Population (not in labour  force): All other persons.

The labour force comprises persons employed plus unemployed.

Participation, Employment and Unemployment Rates

The rates given in this release are based on the ILO classification.  The Participation Rate is the number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15 or over. The Employment Rate is the number of employed aged 15 to 64 expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15 to 64. 

To ensure coherence with Unemployment Rates produced by Eurostat, the CSO has introduced methodological changes as of Q2 2015 in the calculation of these rates. Previously the Unemployment Rate was calculated as the number of unemployed expressed as a percentage of the total labour force aged 15 and over. The changes introduced limit the labour force to persons aged 15-74 and this excludes a small number of persons aged 75 and over in employment from the total labour force used in the calculation. The overall impact of this change is minimal.

Duration of Unemployment

The duration of unemployment is the length of time since a person last had a job or began looking for work, whichever is more recent. The long-term unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed for one year or more expressed as a percentage of the total labour force aged 15 to 74 years.

Part-time Underemployment

The calculation of part-time underemployment is based on ILO and Eurostat recommendations and uses the following criteria to derive underemployment:

1.    Working part-time

2.    Willing to work additional hours

3.    Available to work additional hours

This indicator is only available from quarter 3 2008 onwards as estimates prior to that quarter were based on one single question which included the need for the person to be looking for additional work. From quarter 3 2008 the indicator is derived from a series of separate questions which allow this requirement to be excluded.

Potential Additional Labour Force

The Potential Additional Labour Force (PALF) is the sum of the two groups ‘persons seeking work but not immediately available’ and ‘persons available for work but not seeking’. Persons in the PALF are not part of the standard labour force, which encompasses only employed and unemployed people but however they have a stronger attachment to the labour market than other persons not in the labour force. The new indicators have been defined by the European statistical office (Eurostat) following extensive international discussion regarding appropriate indicators to supplement the unemployment rate.

Further background information regarding the methodology and approach adopted by Eurostat in building these new indicators can be found at the link below. European wide and individual country results are also available from this link:


Principal Economic Status Classification

Results are also available using the Principal Economic Status (PES) classification which was used in the Labour Force Survey and the Census of Population.  The PES classification is based on a single question in which respondents are asked what is their usual situation with regard to employment and given the following response categories:

 • At work

• Unemployed

• Student

• Engaged on home duties

• Retired

• Other.

NACE Industrial Classification

The QNHS sectoral employment figures are based on the EU NACE Rev. 2 (Nomenclature generale des activites economique dans les Communautes europeennes) classification as defined in Council Regulation (EC) no 1893/2006.  Fourteen NACE sub-categories are distinguished in Table 2 of this release. From Q1 2009 NACE Rev. 2 has been adopted as the primary classification of industrial sectors for use in QNHS outputs. From Q4 1997 to Q4 2008 the NACE Rev. 1.1 classification had been in use.

NACE Rev. 2 classification is more detailed than the NACE Rev. 1.1 classification. In particular more sections are now identified for services activities with the aim of better capturing economic activity within services. In cases where there is a direct one to one correspondence (e.g. section H ‘Hotels and restaurants’ in NACE Rev. 1.1 directly corresponds to section I ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ sector in NACE Rev. 2) then the two different series can be expected to be broadly comparable.

However, the series will not be exactly the same, as the process of applying NACE Rev. 2 involved a very detailed recoding process whereby the new NACE classification was applied to each record in each quarter. The detailed nature of this process means it should be expected that even in the case of a one to one correspondence between a NACE Rev. 2 and NACE Rev. 1.1 section; minor differences in the level of the estimates may be seen.

To facilitate analysis and the running of seasonal adjustment on the time series NACE Rev. 2 estimates have been produced from Q1 1998 onwards. As of Q2 2009 only NACE Rev. 2 estimates will be published.

Occupation Classification

As a result of changes to the European regulations governing the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (implemented in Ireland using the QNHS) the CSO is obliged to report occupational coding data to Eurostat based on the new Europe wide classification ISCO-08 from Q1 2011 onwards. To allow this requirement to be met the CSO has changed to using UK SOC2010 as the primary classification used in collecting the data. ISCO-08 is then derived from UK SOC2010. This change is also being implemented for the Census 2011 results.

The previously used classification for publication purposes in Ireland was UK SOC1990 and this cannot be directly compared to the new UK SOC2010 classification as all occupations have been reclassified accordingly.  This newer classification reflects the evolution over a period of time of certain occupational areas which were developing rapidly, both in terms of their scale and the complexity of work organisation. One particular example which highlights the impact of these changes on published results is the reclassifying of farmers from the major occupation grouping of ‘Managers and administrators’ in SOC1990 to the major occupation grouping of ‘Skilled trades’ in SOC2010.

Results for occupations coded to the new SOC2010 classification have now been recoded for historical quarters back to Q1 2007 to provide a longer and consistent time series for users.

Further information regarding SOC 2010 is available at the link below:


NUTS2 and NUTS3 Regions

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat.  The NUTS3 regions correspond to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994. The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions. The composition of the regions is set out below.

Border, Midland and Western NUTS2 Region      Southern and Eastern NUTS2 Region          
Border Cavan Dublin Dublin City
  Donegal   Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
  Leitrim   Fingal
  Louth   South Dublin
  Sligo Mid-East Kildare
Midland Laois   Wicklow
  Longford Mid-West Clare
  Offaly   Limerick City
  Westmeath   Limerick County
      North Tipperary
West Galway City    
  Galway County South-East Carlow
  Mayo   Kilkenny
  Roscommon   South Tipperary
      Waterford City
      Waterford County
    South-West Cork City
      Cork County


Seasonal Adjustment Methodology

To correct for typical seasonal patterns, the series presented in Table 3 have been seasonally adjusted. Since Q1 2011 the seasonal adjustment of data from the QNHS is completed by applying the X-12-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. Seasonal adjustment is conducted using the direct approach, where each individual series is independently adjusted.  As a result of this direct seasonal adjustment approach it should be noted that the sum of any component series may not be equal to seasonally adjusted series to which these components belong, e.g. the seasonally adjusted number of males in employment and the seasonally adjusted number of females in employment will not necessarily add up to the total employment on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The X-12-ARIMA method has the X-11 moving averages process at its core, but builds on this by providing options for pre-treating the series using a regARIMA approach for prior adjustment and series extension. In essence this methodology will estimate seasonal factors while taking account of calendar effects (e.g timing of Easter), outliers, temporary changes and level shifts.

For additional information on the use of X-12-ARIMA see detailed note in the Q1 2011 QNHS release.

Monthly Unemployment Estimates

Monthly unemployment estimates were introduced by the CSO in June 2015 for reference month May. The latest monthly unemployment estimates have been revised with the publication of new QNHS benchmark estimates for this quarter. These revisions are included in Tables A3, A4 and A5 of this release.

In line with Eurostat practice, the seasonally adjusted quarterly unemployment volumes and rates included in Table 3 of this release are now calculated as the average of the relevant 3 months of the quarter from the new monthly unemployment series. This approach ensures consistency between these new seasonally adjusted monthly series and the seasonally adjusted quarterly series. The overall impact of this change is minimal.

Reliability of Estimates Presented

Estimates for number of persons where there are less than 30 persons in a cell are too small to be considered reliable. These estimates are presented with an asterisk (*) in the relevant tables.

Where there are 30-49 persons in a cell, estimates are considered to have a wider margin of error and should be treated with caution. These cells are presented with parentheses [ ].

In the case of rates, these limits apply to the denominator used in generating the rate. In the case of annual changes, both the current year and the preceding year are taken into account when deciding whether the estimate should be suppressed or flagged as having a wider margin of error.

Calculation of Rates and Estimates of Change

Rates and estimates of change presented in this release are calculated from whole unrounded numbers. Due to rounding, these may differ from the rates and estimates of change calculated from the rounded volumes presented in the tables.

Interpretation of volume and rate changes

The overall change in the number of people employed, unemployed, in the labour force and not in the labour force is a function both of changes in the population as well as changes in the proportion of people with that status.  Therefore, in interpreting changes in the volume of persons who are employed, unemployed etc, both changes in population and changes in the relevant rates should be considered.

In recent years there has been a natural decline in the number of people in younger age groups arising from the falling number of births through the 1980’s until 1994 when a low of 48,255 births was recorded (compared with 74,278 in 2009). For example there were 326,030 people born in Ireland between 1982 and 1986 and, all other things being equal, these people would have been in the 20-24 age group in 2006. However between 1986 and 1990 there were nearly 50,000 fewer births which would create a natural decrease in the 20-24 age group of close to 50,000 between 2006 and 2010.

In addition to natural changes in population, net migration has been a significant feature of population change in Ireland in recent years and net migration has also been most heavily concentrated in younger age groups. Evidence shows that migration is also most heavily concentrated in the 20-24 and 25-34 age groups.  As a result of both natural decrease and net outward migration, the population of persons in the younger age groups has fallen and this should be borne in mind when considering the changes in the number of people in these age groups who are employed, unemployed and in the labour force.

 Additional Data Series

Additional data series previously included in the QNHS release can still be accessed through the CSO website and are available at the link below:


Labour market data can also be accessed from Statbank, the CSO’s main data dissemination service which can be accessed through the CSO website at the link below:


Participating Households

The Central Statistics Office wishes to thank the participating households for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the survey and for facilitating the collection of the relevant data.


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