There were 2,674,500, persons aged 15-89 years in the labour force in Q2 2022, using standard International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria. This represented an increase of 141,300 or 5.6% over the year. This compares with an annual labour force increase of 274,000 (+12.1%) in Q2 2021 and a decrease of 167,900 (-6.9%) in Q2 2020. See Table 9.1.
The number of males in the labour force increased by 4.5% (+60,600) to 1,423,400 in the year to Q2 2022, while the number of females in the labour force increased by 6.9% (+80,600) to 1,251,100 See Table 9.1.
The participation rate for all persons aged 15 years and over stood at 65.2% in Q2 2022 up from 63.1% a year earlier. In Q2 2022, the participation rate for males was 71.0% compared to 59.8% for females.
Labour market participation among those aged 15-24 stood at 55.1% in Q2 2022. The participation rate was highest among the 25-34 and 35-44 year age groups at 87.2% and 87.3% respectively. See Tables 9.1 and 9.8.
The number of people in the labour force is influenced by changes in the size of the working age population (the demographic effect). Up to late 2008, this demographic effect added at least 30,000 to the labour force each year, driven mainly by immigration, peaking at 90,500 in Q2 2007.
The positive demographic effect started to fall in the second half of 2007 as immigration decreased. It continued to fall in 2008 and 2009 and was negative between Q3 2009 and Q1 2014. The demographic effect turned positive again in Q2 2014 and has remained positive since then, contributing an increase of 45,600 to the labour force in the year to Q2 2022.
In addition to the demographic effect, the change in the size of the labour force is influenced by changes in participation. The overall participation rate increased by 2.1 percentage points to 65.2% over the year, the net result of changes in individual age groups for the same period was a positive participation effect of 95,700. See Tables 9.1 and 9.8.