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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 over 2.5 million in each quarter of 2022

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

Key Findings

  • The employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years was up from 72.2% to 73.2% over the year to Q3 2022.

  • Employment up by more than 650.000 in the ten years to Q3 2022. Unemployment down from just over 350,000 to circa 120,000 over the same period.

  • The estimated total number of hours worked per week in Q3 2022 was 80.3 million hours, up by 3.2 million hours or 4.2% on Q3 2021.

  • Of those who were in employment in Q3 2022, an estimated 273,100 (10.7%) were absent from work during the reference week (i.e. temporarily absent from work for reasons such as holidays, sick leave or maternity leave). This compares to 303,200 (12.3%) who were absent from work during the reference week in Q3 2021.

  • There were 119,100 unemployed persons aged 15-74 years in Q3 2022 using International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, with an associated unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 of 4.5%, down from 5.7% in Q3 2021.

  • The unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years was 12.0% in Q3 2022, down from 12.1% in Q3 2021.

  • The estimated Labour Force (i.e., the sum of all persons aged 15-89 years who were either employed or unemployed) stood at 2,673,400 in Q3 2022, up by 2.0% (53,100) from Q3 2021.

  • The estimated participation rate in Q3 2022 was 64.8%, down from 65.1% in Q3 2021.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (24 November 2022) issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q3 2022.

Commenting on today’s publication, Sam Scriven, Statistician in the Labour Market & Earnings Division, said: “The number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 83,000 or 3.4% to 2,554,300 persons in the year to Q3 2022. The unadjusted employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years was 73.2%. Year-on-year changes in numbers employed varied significantly across different economic sectors in the year to Q3 2022, with the largest increases in Human Health & Social Work Activities (+9.8% or +30,100) sector and Construction (+16.8% or +24,600). The largest decrease was in the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector, down 12,400 or -11.6% compared with Q3 2021.

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 Q3 2022 declined by 9.9% to 273,100. This, together with an increase of 3.4% in employment, resulted in an increase of 4.2% or 3.2 million more hours worked per week to 80.3 million hours per week in Q3 2022. The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors. The 4.2 million hours worked per week in the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector is down half a million hours from Q3 2022 (-10.6%), and is 0.6 million hours below the pre-pandemic (Q3 2019) figure of 4.8 million hours worked per week.


The number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q3 2022 stood at 119,100, with an associated Unemployment Rate of 4.5%. The only age group that saw an annual increase in Unemployment Rate in Q3 2022 was the 15-19-year-old group, up to 16.5% from 14.4% 12 months earlier."

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 giving them an option to ring the interviewer or the interviewer may call to their house to ask them to take part. 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 Q3 2021.

Table 1.1 Labour Force Survey Summary Results
IndicatorQ3 2022 Annual change 1
Employed persons aged 15-89 years2,554,300 +83,000
Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years73.2% +1.0 pp
Unemployed persons aged 15-74 years119,100-30,000
Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years4.5% -1.2 pp
In labour force2,673,400 +53,100
Not in labour force1,455,100 +47,400
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 29-second quote from CSO Statistician with the Labour Market Division, Sam Scriven, about the Labour Force Survey Quarter 3 2022 release.
Media outlets have permission to use the clip as long as they credit the CSO.

Powerpoint Presentation

Labour Force Survey Presentation Quarter 3 2022 (PPT 2,229KB)

View presentation on YouTube