Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Key Findings

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.

Employment rate of over 74% for persons aged 15-64 years in Quarter 2 2023 was the highest recorded since 1998

Online ISSN: 2565-5728
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • The employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years was 74.2% in Quarter 2 2023, which was the highest rate recorded since the series began in 1998.

  • The number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 88,400 or 3.5% to 2,643,000 persons in the 12 months to Q2 2023.

  • The employment rate for females aged 15-64 at 70.5% is at its highest level since the series began in 1998. The unemployment rate (15-74) for females was 4.2%, down from the Q2 2022 rate of 4.5%.

  • There were 121,200 unemployed persons aged 15-74 years in Q2 2023 using International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, with an associated unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 of 4.4%, down from 4.5% in Q2 2022.

  • The unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years (the youth unemployment rate) was 12.2% in Q2 2023, up from 11.4% in Q2 2022.

  • The estimated Labour Force (i.e., the sum of all persons aged 15-89 years who were either employed or unemployed) stood at 2,764,200 in Q2 2023, a rise of 3.4% (89,800) from Q2 2022.

  • The estimated participation rate in Q2 2023 was 65.7%, up from 65.2% in Q2 2022.

  • The estimated total number of hours worked per week in Q2 2023 increased by 1.1 million hours or 1.3% on Q2 2022 figures to 84.1 million hours.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (24 August 2023) issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q2 2023.

Commenting on today’s publication, Sam Scriven, Statistician in the Labour Market & Earnings Division, said: "The Employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years in Quarter 2 2023 was 74.2%, the highest recorded since the series began in 1998.


The number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 88,400 or 3.5% to 2,643,000 persons in the year to Q2 2023.

An estimated 559,100 or 21.2% of those in employment worked part-time, and around 1 in 4 of those in part-time employment were classified as underemployed (i.e. they would like to work more hours for more pay).

Year-on-year changes in numbers employed varied widely across the different economic sectors in the year to Q2 2023, with notable increases observed in the Public Administration & Defence; Compulsory Social Security sector (+11.2% or +14,200) and the Human Health & Social Work Activities sector (+5.6% or +18,600). The largest percentage decrease was in the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector, down 6,600 people (-6.3%) compared with Q2 2022.

Absences from Work and Hours Worked

The number of absences from work (e.g. temporary layoffs from work, family leave, or holidays) during the reference week in Q2 2023 rose by 3.2% to 193,100 year-on-year. This, together with an increase of 3.5% in employment, resulted in an increase of 1.3% or 1.1 million more hours worked per week to 84.1 million hours per week in Q2 2023.

The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors. The 4.8 million hours worked per week in the Accommodation & Food Service Activities sector was unchanged from Q2 2022 but remains 600,000 hours below the pre-pandemic (Q2 2019) figure of 5.4 million hours worked per week.


The number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q2 2023 stood at 121,200, with an associated Unemployment Rate of 4.4%. The Youth Unemployment Rate (15-24 year-olds) stood at 12.2% in Q2 2023, up from 11.4% 12 months earlier.

There were 31,900 people in long-term unemployment (unemployed for 12 months or longer) in Q2 2023 - an increase of 100 people from Q2 2022. The corresponding rate of long-term unemployment was unchanged at 1.2% over the same period."

Survey Participation

Commenting on the importance of sampled individuals taking part in the LFS, Sam Scriven, added: “Randomly selected households receive introductory letters by post asking them to take part in the Labour Force Survey or other CSO surveys. These letters give people an option to ring the interviewer or complete the survey face-to-face at the respondent’s home. These surveys give us a picture of the economic and social situation of the citizens of Ireland with a level of accuracy that no one else can gain. If you are asked to take part in a CSO survey, please do so. It means that when CSO figures are quoted you know they’re accurate, because you told us.”

Headline Table

The headline table shows the numbers and rates for employed and unemployed persons.  It also shows those working in the labour force and not in the labour force.  It highlights the annual change to Q1 2023.

Table 1.1 Labour Force Survey Summary Results
IndicatorQ2 2023 Annual change 1
Employed persons aged 15-89 years2,643,000 +88,400
Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years74.2%+0.7 pp
Unemployed persons aged 15-74 years121,200 +1,300
Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years4.4% -0.1 pp
In labour force2,764,200 +89,800
Not in labour force1,445,800 +21,000
1 pp refers to percentage point change

The Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a continuous household survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and is the official source for employment and unemployment estimates in Ireland.

The official labour market classification of respondents to the LFS is based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) concepts and definitions.

All European Union (EU) Member States are legally obliged to carry out a Labour Force Survey and to provide these data to Eurostat on a quarterly basis, as set out in the Integration of European Social Statistics (IESS) framework regulation (EU 2019/1700) and Implementing Regulation (EU 2019/2240), which apply from 01 January 2021. 


This is an audio file with a 17-second quote from CSO Statistician with the Labour Market Division, Sam Scriven, about the Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 2023 release.
Media outlets have permission to use the clip as long as they credit the CSO.

What’s really significant about today’s Labour Force Survey result is that the employment rate for people aged 15-64 in Quarter 2 2023 hit its highest level in the 25 years of the survey with more than 74% of people in that age group in employment.