Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Summary Results

LFS estimates were updated on 22nd Feb 2024 to incorporate updated population estimates for the period 2016 Q3 to 2023 Q3, based on the results of Census 2022. LFS results are updated in this way following each Census of Population. For further information see Background Notes.
The data in this publication does not reflect these updates. Please refer to the relevant tables on LFS Px-stat for updated LFS estimates.

Open in Excel:

Increased employment levels resulted in 14.9 million extra hours worked per week (+24.4%) in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020

 Standard LFS Methodology (ILO) COVID-19 Adjusted Estimates June 2021
IndicatorQ2 2021end of Q2 2021
Employed persons aged 15 - 89 years2,349,1002,120,778
Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years68.6%61.7%
Unemployed persons aged 15-74 years184,100413,687
Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years7.3%16.2%
In labour force2,533,200-
Not in labour force1,482,700-


  • There were 2,349,100 people aged 15-89 years in employment in Q2 2021, giving an employment rate of 68.6% for those aged 15-64, based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria
  • The number of persons in employment was up 9.9% (211,000) from 2,138,100 over the year while the employment rate was up from 63.2% in Q2 2020
  • Of those employed in Q2 2021, 220,900 (9.4%) were "Away from work" in the reference week. This compares to a high of 468,500 (21.9%) who were "Away from work" in the reference week a year earlier
  • Because employment was up over the year and the number of absences from work fell over the year, the number of employed persons at work in the reference week increased by 27.5% (+458,600) over the year
  • There was a consequential increase of 24.4% or 14.9 million hours worked per week from 61.0 million hours in Q2 2020 to 75.9 million hours in Q2 2021
  • The COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment, or the lower bound for the number of employed persons aged 15-89 years, rose from 2,120,778 to 2,185,773 between the end of June 2021 and the end of July 2021. This was accompanied by an increase from 61.7% in June 2021 to 63.7% in the associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate, for those aged 15-64
  • By the end of August 2021, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment is currently estimated to have been 2,205,494 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate of 64.3%


  • There were 184,100 unemployed persons aged 15-74 years in Q2 2021 based on ILO methodology
  • In Q2 2021, the unemployment rate was 7.3% for those aged 15-74 years with a rate of 21.1% for those aged 15-24 years. These rates are up from 5.4% and 17.9% respectively in Q2 2020
  • The COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Monthly Unemployment published as part of the Monthly Unemployment release for August 2021, was 413,687 for June 2021 (end of Q2 2021). This estimate is an upper bound and adds all those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to the standard Monthly Unemployment Estimate
  • The COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment fell from 413,687 in June 2021 to 356,648 in July 2021 and to 335,178 in August 2021
  • The associated COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Rate fell from 16.2% in June 2021 to 13.5% and 12.4% in July and August 2021 respectively
  • The Monthly Unemployment release published on 01 September 2021 includes the latest standard and COVID-19 Adjusted Measures of Unemployment for all months up to August 2021.  Please see the Monthly Unemployment release for more information.

Labour Force

  • There were 2,533,200 persons in the Labour Force in Q2 2021 and this was up by 12.1% (274,000) from Q2 2020
  • The participation rate in Q2 2021 stood at 63.1% up from 56.9% a year earlier

See Press Statement and Labour Force Survey Presentation Quarter 2 2021 (PPT 1,496KB)


This is an audio file with a 27-second quote from CSO statistician with the Labour Market Division, Jim Dalton, about the Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2021 release.
Media outlets have permission to use the clip as long as they credit the CSO.

Next chapter>>Employment