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Quarterly National Household Survey, Quarter 2, 2008


Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rises to 5.1% in Q2

The total number of persons in the labour force in the second quarter of 2008 was 2,223,900, representing an increase of 22,000 or 1.0% over the year. This compares with an annual labour force growth of 4.2% or 88,000 in the second quarter of 2007. The overall participation rate for the second quarter of 2008 is 63.4%, compared with a rate of 63.7% for Q2 2007.

Employment grew by 6,900 or 0.3% over the year, bringing the total number of persons employed to 2,108,500. The annual growth rate for Q2 2007 was 4.0%. Female employment increased by 21,500 or 2.4% while male employment declined by 14,600 or 1.2% over the year.


Main Results Q2 2008
Change in Quarter
Change in Year
Labour Force

Employment in the Construction sector decreased by 26,800 or 9.5% in the year to the second quarter of 2008, compared with an annual growth rate of 6.3% to the second quarter of 2007. The annual decrease in construction was attributable to a decline in the number of male employees (-27,700).

The sectors which showed the strongest growth in employment, were Wholesale and retail trade (+16,200), Health (+10,700) and Financial and other business services (+10,400). In addition to Construction, the sectors which showed a decrease in employment over the year were Other production industries (-8,800), Hotels and restaurants (-3,700) and Transport, storage and communication (-3,000).

All of the increase in unemployment attributable to males

There were 78,000 males and 37,500 females unemployed in the second quarter of 2008, bringing the total number of unemployed to 115,500, an increase of 15,200 (+15.2%) in the year. All of the increase in the number of unemployed is attributable to males (+18,000), with the number of unemployed females declining by 2,800 over the year.

For further information contact

Tara Galvin on 021 453 5093 or Noel Ryan on 021 453 5491
Fax 021 453 5492

20 August 2008

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