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Employment

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Fall in numbers in employment and increase in absences from work result in 7.6 million fewer hours worked per week (-9.9%) in the year to Q1 2021

Numbers Employed and Hours Worked

Using the standard Labour Force Survey (LFS) methodology, there were 2,230,600 persons in employment in Q1 2021 but 309,500 of those (13.9%) were "Away from work" in the reference week. This compares to 2,347,200 persons in employment in Q1 2020 of whom 208,400 (8.9%) were "Away from work" in the reference week.

The official number of persons in employment was down 5.0% (-116,600) in the year to Q1 2021. However, because the number of absences from work has increased over the year, the number of employed persons at work in the reference week has fallen by 10.2% (-217,700). Therefore, there has been a fall of 9.9% or 7.6 million hours worked per week from 76.3 million hours in Q1 2020 to 68.7 million hours in Q1 2021.

 The drop of 116,600 (-5.0%) in employment is composed of decreases of 67,200 (-5.3%) for males and 49,300 (-4.6%) for females in the year to Q1 2021. See Tables 9.1 and 9.7.

Figure 3.1 Number of persons aged 15 years and over in employment, Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2021

Comparing figures from now to pre-COVID-19 times, there was a fall of 2.9% or -67,700 in the number of persons in employment since Q1 2019 when there were 2,298,300 persons in employment. At that time there were 134,800 employed persons (5.9%) “Away from work” in the reference week so the number of employed persons who were working in the reference week stood at 2,163,500. Thus, because the number of employed persons has fallen since Q1 2019 and the number of absences has increased, the number of hours worked each week has fallen by 9.0 million hours per week (-11.6%) from 77.8 million hours per week in Q1 2019 to 68.7 million hours in Q1 2021. See Table 9.1.

Figure 3.2 Total number of hours actually worked per week, Quarter 1 1998 to Quarter 1 2021

Employment Rates

The employment rate for those aged 15-64 was 65.6% in Q1 2021 and this was down from 69.6% in Q1 2020 and 69.2% in Q1 2019. In Q1 2021, the employment rate for males aged 15-64 years was 70.3% compared to 61.0% for females. Looking at the rates by age group, the employment rate was lowest among those aged 15-19 years (14.7%) and highest among those aged 35-44 years (77.5%). The employment rate for males was higher than the corresponding rate for females for all age groups with differences of over 10 percentage points in the rates for those aged 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-59 years and 60-64 years. See Tables 9.1 and 9.8.

Figure 3.3 Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years by sex, Quarter 1 1998 to Quarter 1 2021

Economic Sector

Employment fell in eight of the 14 economic sectors over the year, (excluding Not stated). The largest drop of 43.6% (-73,900) was in the Accommodation & Food Services sector. See Table 9.2.

Employment increased over the year in the remaining six sectors, (excluding Not stated), with the largest gain of 9.5% (12,200) in the Information & communication sector. See Table 9.2.

Figure 3.4 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment classified by NACE Rev. 2 Economic Sector, Quarter 1 2020 and Quarter 1 2021

Employment Status

The number of employees fell by 81,100 (-4.1%) in the year ending Q1 2021 to 1,922,000 while the number of self-employed dropped by 50,400 (-15.2%) to 281,000. See Table 9.5.

Employment fell by 116,600 in the year to Q1 2021, with 71,300 (-3.8%) fewer persons in full-time employment and a drop of 45,300 (-9.5%) in part-time employment. See Table 9.1.

Figure 3.5 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment classified by sex and full-time/part-time status, Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2021

NUTS 3 Regions

Employment fell over the year in seven of the eight NUTS 3 regions with the largest decline occurring in the Dublin region (-42,000) followed by the South-West region (-30,600). There was an annual increase in employment in the Midland region (+2,700). See Table 9.9.

 

  Figure 3.6 was updated on 24 June 2021 (5.00pm) due to technical reasons.                                                      

Figure 3.6 Persons aged 15 years and over in employment by NUTS 3 Region, Quarter 1 2020 and Quarter 1 2021

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