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CSO statistical release, 14 March 2018, 11am

Labour Force Survey

Quarter 4 2017

IndicatorQuarter 4 2017Annual change
Employed2,231,000 +66,800
Unemployed144,100-23,400
In labour force2,375,200 +43,400
Not in labour force1,443,000 +10,700

Employment increases by 3.1% in year to Q4 2017

Figure 1 Numbers in employment (ILO) in the fourth quarters 2013 to 2017
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There was an annual increase in employment of 3.1% or 66,800 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing total employment to 2,231,000. This compares with an annual increase of 2.2% or 48,100 in employment in the previous quarter and an increase of 3.8% or 79,200 in the year to Q4 2016.

Summary points for Q4 2017

  • The increase in total employment of 66,800 in the year to Q4 2017 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 90,100 (+5.4%) and a decrease in part-time employment of 23,300 (-4.8%). See table 1 and figure 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 29,000 (+1.3%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 15,200 (+0.7%) in Q3 2017, an increase of 4,700 (+0.2%) in Q2 2017, an increase of 17,500 (+0.8%) in Q1 2017 and an increase of 11,900 (+0.6%) in Q4 2016. See table 3.
  • Unemployment decreased by 23,400 (-14.0%) in the year to Q4 2017 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 144,100. This is the twenty second quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis. See table 1.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4% for Q4 2017 and the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed decreased by 5,100 to 151,500. See table 3.
  • The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 3.7% to 2.5% over the year to Q4 2017. Long-term unemployment accounted for 40.3% of total unemployment in Q4 2017. See table 6.
  • The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 2,375,200, representing an increase of 43,400 (+1.9%) over the year.  This compares with an annual labour force increase of 40,000 (+1.7%) in Q4 2016.  The number of persons not in the labour force in Q4 2017 was 1,443,000, an increase of 10,700 (+0.7%) over the year. See table 1.

Users should note that effective from Q3 2017, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS). The results presented in this report incorporate adjustments to the historic QNHS data series to take account of revisions to population estimates arising from the 2016 Census of Population. In addition, adjustments have been made to this historic data to enable comparability with the new LFS for headline indicators. However as a result of changes to the questionnaire, the interview mode, the introduction of a new sample, data processing changes and other methodological enhancements there are changes in the levels of some series from Q3 2017 onwards. As a consequence, the series before and after the introduction of the new survey may not be directly comparable and users should therefore note this when examining annual and quarterly changes.

Further information is available in the background notes accompanying this release on the change from the QNHS to the LFS, revisions to population estimates, enhancements to the survey methodology now used in the LFS and headline indicators which have been adjusted.