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Economic Status

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Nearly seventy per cent of the homeless labour force were unemployed

Of the 5,212 homeless persons aged 15 and over in April 2016 with a stated present principle status, 2,915 or 55.9 per cent were in the labour force. This compares with 61.4 per cent for the general population.

Among the homeless count for males, 62.1 per cent were in the labour force, while the proportion for females was 46.5 per cent.

Of those in the labour force, 2,016 persons were either looking for their first job or unemployed, resulting in an unemployment rate of 69.2 per cent. The unemployment rate for the general population was 12.9 per cent.

There were 899 persons at work, representing 30.8 per cent of those in the labour force.

Nearly 12 per cent of the homeless population aged 15 years and over were unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability. In contrast, only 4.2 per cent of the general population was in this category. A higher proportion of men (13.9%) than women (8.2%) were unable to work due to sickness or disability.

There were 429 students, while 188 persons indicated they were retired.

No response to the present principal status question was recorded for 491 persons, representing 9.4 per cent of the group aged 15 and over.

See the Background Notes for an explanation of 'not stated'.

Table 2.1 Homeless persons aged 15 and over, by present principle status and sex, 2016
Total in labour force1,9609552,915
           At work579320899
           Looking for first regular job10664170
           Having lost or given up previous job1,2755711,846
Total not in labour force9328741,806
            Looking after home/ family25371396
            Unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability438169607
Not stated265226491
Table 2.2 Unemployed homeless persons, selected categories, 2016
 Number of persons% of persons
Rest of Ireland76483.0

Higher proportion at work among non-family individuals compared to members of family units

Of the 2,915 homeless persons aged 15 and over in the labour force, 30.8 per cent were at work. The results by family type are presented in Table 2.3. For those outside a family unit 32.8 per cent were at work, compared with 24.6 per cent for those in a family.

Among family units consisting of a couple with no children, 27.0 per cent were at work, while this fell to 24.7 per cent for those in a family unit defined by a couple with children.

The proportion at work was the lowest for members of single parent families at 23.9 per cent.

Table 2.3 Homeless persons aged 15 and over, by present principle status in families and non-family units, 2016
StatusTotalNon family unitsFamily unitsCouple without childrenCouple with childrenSingle parent family with children
Total in labour force2,9152,20970689324293
           At work899725174248070
           Looking for first regular job1701056542833
           Having lost or given up previous job1,8461,37946761216190
Total not in labour force1,8061,13866829256383
            Looking after home/ family396523445118221
            Unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability60752384173334
            Other (excluding not stated)1861394712224
Not stated49141972122337

Lower levels of educational attainment

Of the 4,198 homeless persons whose full time education had ceased, 1,606 did not have an educational qualification beyond lower secondary, accounting for 38.3 per cent of the group. Of these, 581 persons were educated to primary level only, while 193 indicated they had no formal education. 955 were educated to upper secondary while 422 persons were educated to third level.

Level of educationHomeless personsAll persons
No formal education4.61.7
Primary education13.810.8
Lower secondary19.814.5
Upper secondary22.727.3
Third level10.139.3
Not stated28.96.4

Interactive table: StatBank Link E5008

Men and women

The levels of educational attainment were similar between males and females. 60.6 per cent of males had indicated a level of education no higher than upper secondary, compared with 61.7 per cent for females.

Table 2.4 Level of education of homeless persons aged 15 and over, 2016
 TotalTotal whose full-time education has ceasedHighest level of education completedTotal whose full-time education has not ceasedEconomic status
No formal educationPrimary educationLower SecondaryUpper SecondaryThird LevelNot statedStudentOther - including not stated