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Press Statement


28 August 2018

Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2018

Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2018
  • Employment was up 3.4% or 74,100 to 2,255,000 in the year to Q2 2018
  • Unemployment was down 10.1% or 16,200 to 144,300 in the year to Q2 2018
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down from 5.9% in Q1 2018 to 5.8% in Q2 2018
  • Go to release: Labour Force Survey (LFS) Quarter 2 2018

    The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (28 August 2018) issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in respect of Q2 2018. This survey replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) from the beginning of Q3 2017.

    Commenting on the report, Brian Ring, Senior Statistician, said: “The LFS is the official source of data for employment and unemployment in Ireland. Key findings show that in Q2 2018, employment totalled 2,255,000, up 3.4% or 74,100 from the same quarter in 2017. When adjusted for seasonal factors, employment increased by 0.8% or 17,300 from Q1 2018.

    There were 144,300 people unemployed in Q2 2018, and this was down 10.1% or 16,200 from Q2 2017. When seasonally adjusted, the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to 5.8% over the quarter, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 139,300.

    Long term unemployment, which refers to those persons unemployed for one year or more, accounted for 33.9% of total unemployment in Q2 2018.

    The total number of persons in the labour force is now 2,399,300, up 2.5% or 57,900 from Q2 2017. The number of persons not in the labour force is 1,448,900 which is up 0.3% or 4,900 from a year earlier”.

    Note on Revisions to Forecasted Monthly Unemployment Estimates

    In the Monthly Unemployment release published on 31 July, the CSO forecast an estimated monthly unemployment rate of 5.1% for July 2018. With the publication of the Q2 2018 LFS, which is used to benchmark these estimated forecasts, the unemployment rate for July 2018 is now revised to 5.9%.

    For months where the quarterly unemployment data is not yet available, a monthly estimate is forecasted from the Live Register monthly data. As Q2 LFS estimates were not yet available, this forecasting approach was used to generate the 5.1% estimate for July.

    The monthly series is then revised each quarter when the latest quarterly data becomes available and it is the availability of these new Q2 benchmarks which have revised the rate upward to 5.9%. This ‘hybrid’ approach adheres to agreed international practice but can result in revisions to forecasted data. This is particularly evident with the relatively low levels of unemployment now being seen, as movements in the Live Register may not fully reflect relatively small absolute changes in unemployment levels from the LFS.

    In light of the scale of recent revisions to the monthly unemployment rate, the CSO is preparing to review the existing methodology used to forecast these estimates. This review will, in particular, take into account changes required as the economy moves towards a state of full employment. This review will be carried out by CSO methodology experts and it is also intended to work with experts from other National Statistical Institutes as part of this process.

    Editor's Note:

    See Information Note

    For further information contact:

    Jim Dalton (+353) 21 453 5623 or Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491

    or email

    -- ENDS --