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Introduction

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis using data from the Labour Force Survey. The results contained in this release reflect some of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information see: Information Note - Implications of COVID-19 on the Labour Force Survey - Quarter 2 2020 Update.

Table A1 for Quarter 1 2021 and Quarter 2 2021 have been updated at 11am on 1st November 2021 to amend a coding error. 
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The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the official source of labour market statistics for Ireland. It includes the official rates of employment and unemployment, which are based on 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 through the LFS. These ILO criteria are one reason why the LFS may not fully capture the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. Please see the Information Note on the implications of COVID-19 on the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which was published on 24 August 2020 for more information.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has therefore compiled LFS estimates for Q1 2021 to the usual ILO standards and separate COVID-19 adjusted estimates.

This approach preserves the methodology of the LFS while at the same time providing transparency around the impact of COVID-19 on the Labour Market within Ireland.

A Monthly Unemployment estimate is produced every month by the CSO, in a separate publication to the LFS, using Live Register and LFS data. Since March 2020, the CSO has also produced an extra COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Monthly Unemployment. This measure adds people who receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to the monthly estimate of unemployed persons.

This additional measure was most recently published in the Monthly Unemployment Estimates for May 2021 and will be continued as long as the CSO deem necessary.

Since Q1 2020, the CSO has also produced a COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment as part of the LFS. The measure subtracts people receiving the PUP at the end of each quarter from the numbers in employment as measured by the LFS.

There is not enough information currently available to determine the official labour market status for those individuals receiving the PUP. Given this uncertainty, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment can be seen as the upper bound or highest possible value for unemployment, while the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment can be seen as the lower bound or the lowest possible value for employment.

These COVID-19 Adjusted Measures are subject to change if information becomes available that allows a better estimate to be calculated of the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market in Ireland.

The CSO has data on those who are receiving the PUP, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), the payment of which has been discontinued. We will continue to investigate more targeted COVID-19 Adjusted Measures by matching this information, and other data sources, to the LFS.

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