24 September 2021
Go to release: Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2021
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (24 September 2021) issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q2 2021.
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 2 (Q2) 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.
Using the standard International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 9.9% or 211,000 to 2,349,100 in the year to Q2 2021. Employment increased across all sectors with the largest rates of increase in the Education (+19.9% or +35,300) sector and in the Other Service Activities sector which includes Arts and Culture activities (+15.2 or +12,900). The Employment Rate for those aged 15-64 years was 68.6% in Q2 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 down by 52.8% to 220,900 over the year. This together with an increase of 9.9% in employment resulted in increase of 24.4% or 14.9 million in the number of hours worked per week to 75.9 million in Q2 2021. The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors. While the number of hours worked per week in all sectors in Q2 2021 were higher than a year ago, some sectors like Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing and Human Health & Social Work activities were approaching Q2 2019 levels. Other sectors however, such as the Accommodation & Food Services sector and the Other Service Activities sector which includes Arts and Culture activities were still below Q2 2019 levels.
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 2,120,778 at the end of June 2021 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate of 61.7% for those aged 15-64 years. By the end of July 2021, these are estimated to have stood at 2,185,773 and 63.7% respectively while by the end of August 2021, they are estimated to have stood at 2,205,494 and 64.3% respectively.
Using the standard ILO criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q2 2021 stood at 184,100 with an associated Unemployment Rate of 7.3%.
As part of the Monthly Unemployment Estimates release for August 2021, the CSO published COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Volumes and Rates for the end of June 2021 which corresponded to 413,687 persons and 16.2% respectively for persons aged 15-74 years. By the end of July 2021, these are estimated to have stood at 356,648 and 13.5% respectively while by the end of August 2021, they are estimated to have stood at 335,178 and 12.4% respectively.
In Q2 2021, using the standard methodology, the total number of persons in the labour force was up 12.1% or 274,000 to 2,533,200 from Q2 2020. The number of persons not in the labour force was 1,482,700 and that was down 13.5% or 231,900 from a year earlier.”
Commenting on the importance of sampled individuals taking part in the LFS, Jim Dalton, Statistician, added: “Following public health guidelines regarding COVID-19, our CSO interviewers will call to the householder only to ask them to take part. See Press Statement. Once the household has agreed to take part, the interviewer will conduct the interview over the phone. Households randomly selected will receive introductory letters by post giving them an option to ring the interviewer or the interviewer may call to their house to ask them to take part. These surveys give us a picture of the economic and social situation of the citizens of Ireland, in a way, and with a level of accuracy, that no one else can gain. If you are asked to take part in a CSO survey, please do so. It means that when CSO figures are quoted you know they’re accurate, because you told us.”
Note to Editors
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the official source of labour market statistics for Ireland including the official measures of employment and unemployment. These official measures are based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concepts and definitions. The ILO measures are the international standard and all EU Member States are legally obliged to compile and provide this data to Eurostat on a quarterly basis.
A new framework regulation governing the production of the Labour Force Survey across Europe came into force on 01 January 2021. This has led to some minor changes to previously published series. Users should note that some further changes may be necessary by the end of 2021
The methodology outlined in the Information Note published alongside the Q2 2020 LFS results on 24 August 2020 still applies to the LFS results for Q1 2021. Please see Information Note - Implications of COVID-19 on the Labour Force Survey - Quarter 2 2020 Update
For more information - https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/lfs/labourforcesurvey
For further information contact:
Jim Dalton, Labour Market Analysis – 087-678-0316
Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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