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Unemployment

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Numbers unemployed rose by 48.6% to 170,500 in the year to Q1 2021

Numbers unemployed and unemployment rate

The numbers unemployed rose by 55,800 (+48.6%) to 170,500 in the year to Q1 2021, using the standard LFS labour market criteria. The overall unadjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.7% to 7.1% over the year to Q1 2021. See Table 9.1.

 

Figure 4.1 Number of unemployed persons aged 15-74 years, Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2021

Unemployment grew by 29,600 (+46.4%) for males to 93,500 in the year to Q1 2021 compared with a rise of 26,200 (+51.5%) to 77,000 for females over the same period. The unemployment rate for males was 7.3% in Q1 2021 up from 4.8% a year earlier while the corresponding rates for females were 7.0% and 4.5% respectively. See Tables 9.1 and 9.7.

Figure 4.2 Number of unemployed persons aged 15-74 years classified by sex, Quarter 1 1998 to Quarter 1 2021

While the unemployment rate for all persons aged 15-74 stood at 7.1% in Q1 2021 there were differences by age with a rate as low as 4.4% for those aged 65-74 years and as high as 25.3% for those aged 15-19 years. Those age groups also had the lowest and highest unemployment rates a year earlier but the rates then stood at 2.5% and 17.2% respectively. The unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 years is known as the Youth Unemployment Rate; it stood at 15.6% in Q1 2021 up from 10.5% in Q1 2020. See Table 9.8.

Annual increases in unemployment occurred in seven of the eight NUTS 3 regions with the largest increase occurring in the Dublin region (+21,900) followed by the South-West region (+12,400). There was a very slight decrease in the numbers unemployed in the Border region (-200). See Table 9.9. 

Figure 4.3 Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years by sex, Quarter 1 1998 to Quarter 1 2021

Duration of Unemployment

Over seven in ten unemployed people in Q1 2021 were in short-term unemployment (less than one year). Over the year to Q1 2021, short-term unemployment rose by 44,900 (+56.5%) to 124,200 while there was a rise of 8,800 (27.6%) in the numbers of long-term unemployed to 40,800.

Figure 4.4 Number of unemployed persons aged 15-74 years classified by sex and employment duration, Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 1 2021

The long-term unemployment rate increased from 1.3% to 1.7% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. Just under one in four (23.9%) unemployed persons were in long-term unemployment in Q1 2021 which is down from 27.9% a year earlier. See Table 9.6.

Figure 4.5 Long-term unemployment rate for persons aged 15-74 years, Quarter 1 1998 to Quarter 1 2021

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