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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.

The number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 68,600 or 2.7% to 2,574,500 persons in the year to Q4 2022

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

Key Findings

  • The number of persons aged 15-89 years in employment increased by 68,600 or 2.7% to 2,574,500 persons in the 12 months to Q4 2022. This is the highest number of persons employed in the State since the series began in 1998.

  • The employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years was up from 73.0% to 73.2% over the 12 months to Q4 2022.

  • Of those who were in employment in Q4 2022, an estimated 203,700 (7.9%) 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 with 252,100 (10.1%) who were absent from work during the reference week in Q4 2021.

  • There were 112,000 unemployed persons aged 15-74 years in Q4 2022 using International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, with an associated unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 of 4.2%, down from 4.9% in Q4 2021.

  • The unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years (the youth unemployment rate) was 9.1% in Q4 2022, down from 10.2% in Q4 2021.

  • The estimated Labour Force (i.e., the sum of all persons aged 15-89 years who were either employed or unemployed) stood at 2,686,500 in Q4 2022, up by 2.0% (53,200) from Q4 2021.

  • The estimated participation rate in Q4 2022 was 64.6%, down from 65.1% in Q4 2021.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (23 February 2023) issued results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q4 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 68,600 or 2.7% to 2,574,500 persons in the year to Q4 2022. This is the highest number of persons employed in the State since the series began in 1998. 


The unadjusted employment rate for persons aged 15-64 years was 73.2%. Year-on-year changes in numbers employed varied across different economic sectors in the year to Q4 2022, with the largest percentage increases in Administrative & Support Service Activities (+15.2% or +14,500) and the Transportation & Storage sector (+7.1% or +7,500). The largest decrease was in the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector, down 5.7% or 6,100 compared with Q4 2021.  


The number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q4 2022 stood at 112,000, with an associated Unemployment Rate of 4.2%. The only age group that saw an annual increase in Unemployment Rate in Q4 2022 was the 25-34-year-old group, up to 4.8% from 4.6% 12 months earlier.

Absences from work and hours worked

The number of persons absent from work (e.g. temporary layoffs from work, family leave, or holidays) during the reference week in Q4 2022 declined by 19.2% to 203,700. This, together with an increase of 2.7% in employment, resulted in an increase of 3.9% or 3.0 million more hours worked per week to 80.6 million hours per week in Q4 2022. The impact on hours worked varied across the different economic sectors. The 4.5 million hours worked per week in the Accommodation & Food Service Activities sector was up 400,000 hours from Q4 2021 (+9.8%) but remains more than half a million hours below the pre-pandemic (Q4 2019) figure of 5.1 million hours worked per week."

Survey Participation

Commenting on the importance of sampled individuals taking part in the LFS, Sam Scriven, added: “Introductory letters are sent to randomly selected households - the letters give the households 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 Q4 2022.

Table 1.1 Labour Force Survey Summary Results
IndicatorQ4 2022 Annual change 1
Employed persons aged 15-89 years2,574,500 +68,600
Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years73.2%+0.3 pp
Unemployed persons aged 15-74 years112,000-15,400
Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years4.2% -0.7 pp
In labour force2,686,500 +53,200
Not in labour force1,473,300 +61,600
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 31-second quote from CSO Statistician with the Labour Market Division, Sam Scriven, about the Labour Force Survey Quarter 4 2022 release.
Media outlets have permission to use the clip as long as they credit the CSO.

Powerpoint Presentation

Labour Force Survey Presentation Quarter 4 2022 (PPT 2,495KB)

View presentation on YouTube