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Labour Market Status

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Employment rates for those aged 25-64 years old increased as the level of educational attainment increased, and this relationship is stronger for females than for males. In Q2 2021, females aged 25-64 years old with a third level qualification were over three times more likely to be employed (81%) compared to females with a primary education or no formal education (24%). Comparing this to males aged 25-64 years old with a third level qualification, the employment rate was 90%, dropping to a 38% employment rate for those with a primary only education or no formal education. See Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1.

Show Table: Table 2.1 Employment rates of persons aged 25-64, classified by sex and highest level of education attained, Q2 2018 - Q2 2021

MaleFemaleTotal
Primary or below382432
Lower secondary694158
Higher secondary786069
Post leaving cert.846876
Third level908185

Unemployment rates for those aged 25-64 years old generally decreased as the level of education attained increased. In Q2 2021, males aged 25-64 years old with a primary education or below were more than twice as likely to be unemployed (10%) compared to males with a third level qualification (4%). The corresponding values for females in Q2 2021 were 12% and 4% respectively. See Table 2.2 and Figure 2.2.

Show Table: Table 2.2 Unemployment rates of persons aged 25-64, classified by sex and highest level of education attained, Q2 2018 - Q2 2021

MaleFemaleTotal
Primary or below101211
Lower secondary899
Higher secondary777
Post leaving cert.767
Third level444

The labour force participation rate is the number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the total population. In Q2 2021, females aged 25-64 years old with a third level qualification were three times as likely to be in the labour force (84%) compared to females with a primary education or below (28%). The corresponding values for males in Q2 2021 were 94% and 42% respectively. See Table 2.3.

Show Table: Table 2.3 Labour force participation rates of persons aged 25-64, classified by sex and the highest level of education attained, Q2 2018 - Q2 2021

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Just under two thirds (64%) of early school leavers (Early school leavers are persons aged 18 to 24 whose highest level of educational attainment is lower secondary or below and are not currently in education) aged 18-24 were not economically active compared to 35% of other persons aged 18-24 in Q2 2021. Just over one in five (21%) early school leavers were employed in Q2 2021, with 15% unemployed. Early school leavers had a much lower rate of employment in Q2 2021 compared with other persons aged 18-24 (21% compared to 54%). The unemployment rate for early school leavers was 15% compared to 12% for other persons aged 18-24. See Table 2.4.

Show Table: Table 2.4 Percentage of early school leavers and other persons aged 18-24 classified by labour market status, Q2 2011 - Q2 2021

Go to next chapter:  Profile of Age, Sex, Nationality and Region