Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Headline Indicators

Open in Excel:

External Imbalances

Indicator 1: Current Account Balance

Current Account Balance (% of GDP, 3 yr avg)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
2011-2.500492143676616-4
2012-2.073281961551666-4
2013-1.15494987595766-4
2014-0.2512776483911886-4
20152.341457823180256-4
20160.4198798145124346-4
20170.225546336311496-4
20180.3962846218476016-4
2019-4.816758085144696-4
2020-5.86463767117836-4

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2021

Get the dataPxStat BPQ15 (Current Account), PxStat N2005 (Gross Domestic Product)

The current account balance is mainly driven by exports less imports, although it also includes net income and current transfers in and out of Ireland, as shown in the CSO note on Trends in Net Factor Income. As part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP), the current account balance is expressed as a percentage of GDP and presented as a three-year average. A positive current account balance usually indicates that exports are greater than imports, and vice versa. From 2011 to 2014, Ireland ran a current account deficit (measured as a three-year average). The value of this indicator increased year on year from 2011-2015. A current account surplus was recorded in 2015 as a result of the relocation of companies to Ireland and their associated contract manufacturing exports. The modest but increasing current account surpluses from 2016 to 2018 were followed by a current account deficit in 2019, the first in six years. This deficit was mainly due to increased R&D related IP imports. In 2020, the deficit has further increased to 5.9% of GDP (measured as a three-year average), breaching the MIP threshold for the second consecutive year. 

Supplementary analysis:

Current Account Balance (% of GDP, 3 yr avg)Modifed Current Account Balance (CA*) (% of GDP, 3 yr avg)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
2011-2.50049214367661-2.570100531394236-4
2012-2.07328196155166-2.451924475779666-4
2013-1.1549498759576-1.756260203463556-4
2014-0.251277648391188-1.092738708880046-4
20152.341457823180250.5957115913795816-4
20160.4198798145124341.615938736189886-4
20170.225546336311492.960716055306756-4
20180.3962846218476013.645911075455446-4
2019-4.816758085144694.716350225968416-4
2020-5.86463767117835.39626478531286-4
Show Table: Table 2.1 Modified Current Account Balance CA*, 2011-2020 (% of GDP, 3 year average)

Source publication: International Accounts Q1 2021 Final

A new measure of Irish domestic economic activity was requested by the CSO’s Economic Statistics Review Group (ESRG) due to the recent difficulty of interpreting gross domestic product (GDP). This was mainly caused by the impact on GDP of mobile international assets and global firms redomiciling their headquarters to Ireland. The development of a modified current balance, CA*, has been the CSO’s response concerning the balance of payments (BOP) data. CA* is the current account balance (CA) adjusted as follows:

CA* = CA less (depreciation on R&D service imports and trade in IP + aircraft leasing depreciation + redomiciled incomes + R&D related IP exports) adding back (net aircraft related to leasing + R&D related IP imports + R&D service imports)

Because it is borne by foreign investors, the depreciation of foreign-owned capital (such as trade in IP and aircraft leasing) is excluded from, and thus does not affect, CA*. The retained earnings of redomiciled firms are predominantly owned by foreign investors and are not taken into account by CA* either. Finally, some firms borrow money abroad to finance their investment by purchasing IP from their parent company. In the long-term, this debt is repaid from the profit on the IP or the aircraft being leased. This borrowing is not a liability of residents of Ireland and the purchase of this IP is excluded when deriving CA*.

As part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP), both CA and CA* are expressed as a three-year average as a percentage of GDP. Figure 2.2 shows that from 2011 to 2015, CA* was lower than CA. This difference is mainly due to the increase of redomiciled incomes. Values for both the CA and CA* were positive from 2015 to 2018, with CA* showing a consistent upward trend. While this upward trend for CA* continued into 2019 and 2020, values of CA decreased significantly in 2019 to show a large deficit (as a three year average) and this trend is continued into 2020.

In 2019, CA* stood at 4.7% compared to a value of -4.8% for CA. The main driver of this difference was a large decrease in the current account balance from €16bn in 2018 to -€70.8bn in 2019, mainly due to large R&D related IP imports, significantly widening the gap between CA and CA*. In 2020, the current account balance increased to -€9.9bn but this deficit continued to drive a decrease in the indicator. In contrast, CA* increased from €20.2bn in 2019 to €24bn in 2020.

More information on the modified current account balance can be found here.

Indicator 2: International Investment Position

Net IIP (% of GDP)MIP Threshold
2011-138.6-35
2012-137.449077846085-35
2013-133.635618774769-35
2014-164.602891234982-35
2015-198.439497716895-35
2016-172.69919795007-35
2017-167.331817799108-35
2018-183.642341654322-35
2019-193.518004297022-35
2020-173.975310363693-35
Show Table: Table 2.2 Net International Investment Position, 2011-2020 (% of GDP)

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat BPQ26 (IIP), PxStat N2005 (GDP)

The net IIP is calculated as the value of financial assets of residents of an economy that are claims on non-residents, and gold bullion held as reserve assets, less the liabilities of residents of an economy to non-residents.

Ireland's net IIP as a percentage of GDP has breached the MIP threshold of -35% every year from 2011 to 2020.

Supplementary analysis:

General GovernmentCentral BankMonetary Financial InstitutionsNon-Financial CorporationsOther SectorsNet IIPMIP Threshold
2012-61.6951450889678-44.171656800351-0.551526097781931-66.370012477708235.3392626187234-137.449077846085-35
2013-60.6484552229239-28.5339248986963-6.66793006002976-65.94913355368428.1638249605654-133.635618774769-35
2014-67.9368401612854-8.77476479218607-1.30146613725671-97.943406486297911.353586342044-164.602891234982-35
2015-50.60502283105020.9627092846270934.59665144596651-164.96423135464211.570395738204-198.439497716895-35
2016-46.39781084063422.184345585022488.84217464396537-159.50388435076922.1759770123455-172.69919795007-35
2017-41.5950155763243.7800791445651313.5172181527322-150.257809211087.22370969099941-167.331817799108-35
2018-38.2599841125257.3830752385421612.9145542152415-161.919746781866-3.76024021371414-183.642341654322-35
2019-38.269018248318512.507082232431918.821909201573-185.652098304191-0.925879178517135-193.518004297022-35
2020-38.420464023557914.125604434801521.2511632771831-175.4398998039534.50828575183241-173.975310363693-35
Show Table: Table 2.3 Breakdown of Net International Investment Position, 2012-2020 (% of GDP)

Get the data: PxStat BPQ22 (IIP), PxStat N2005 (GDP)

Figure 2.4 and Table 2.3 above show the contribution of various sectors to the net IIP as a percentage of GDP. Non-financial corporations (NFCs) contributed the most to the net IIP in every year, with their contribution more than doubling between 2012 and 2015, mainly due to the non-resident financing of domestic intellectual property. Further information on this is contained in the CSO's National Balance Sheet publication. The portion of the net IIP attributable to general government has notably reduced in the past six years, from its most significant value of -67.9% of GDP in 2014 to -38.4% of GDP in 2020. This reduction is mainly due to the significant increase in GDP over the period, which was largely driven by NFCs.

Competitiveness Indicators

Indicator 3: Real Effective Exchange Rate

REERUpper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
2011-9.65-5
2012-12.25-5
2013-3.85-5
2014-3.65-5
2015-6.45-5
2016-7.15-5
2017-6.35-5
20182.35-5
2019-1.45-5
2020-1.25-5

Get the data: Eurostat database

The real effective exchange rate (REER) is a country’s exchange rate relative to a basket of exchange rates of other countries weighted according to their respective trade shares. A change in it, therefore, aims to assess a country's price or cost competitiveness relative to its principal competitors in international markets. A positive value indicates real appreciation and a loss of country competitiveness relative to principal trading partners. A negative value indicates improving country competitiveness relative to its principal trading partners. Changes in cost and price competitiveness depend on cost and price trends as well as exchange rate movements. This indicator is expressed as a three-year percentage change, deflated by the consumer price indices relative to a panel of 42 countries. From 2011 to 2012, the lower MIP threshold of -5% was breached, followed by a recovery period during 2013 and 2014. The indicator again breached the lower threshold each year from 2015 to 2017. The three-year percentage change in REER in 2020, at -1.2%, breached neither the upper nor the lower MIP thresholds, for a third consecutive year.

Supplementary analysis:

IrelandEU27GermanyNetherlandsUnited KingdomUnited States
2011-9.6-2.32592592592593-4.9-2.4-10.6796763122228-5.4093832392678
2012-12.2-4.67037037037037-9-63.08686249232374-6.99429734238077
2013-3.8-0.874074074074074-1.80.52.052435357701-2.46659233588861
2014-3.6-1.03333333333333-0.40.78.888682076835564.37477847204883
2015-6.4-1.87777777777778-1.5-0.910.011628357576712.8484252448973
2016-7.1-2.18518518518519-2.1-2.30.32380502380539917.2525106977876
2017-6.3-1.67777777777778-2-1.8-10.695467304775815.0239374987186
20182.33.622222222222225.33.3-13.10602445335112.8210230317266
2019-1.41.5703703703703722.4-3.866678428723011.63209773360088
2020-1.22.062962962962962.43.81.587737239320023.27707507387855

Get the data: Eurostat databaseIMF database

The pattern of Ireland’s REER has been similar to other Euro area countries and to the EU-27 average, although Ireland's indicator values tend to lie lower than most of its European counterparts. In contrast, Ireland's REER trend has been very different to those of the United Kingdom and the USA where other currencies are in circulation. It is important to note that data on the UK and the USA is from a different data source to Eurostat and therefore is not fully comparable. The indicators for the UK and the USA are computed using data from the IMF database.

REER (3 yr % change)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
Hungary-4.95-5
Sweden-4.85-5
Ireland-1.25-5
Portugal05-5
Cyprus0.15-5
Greece0.45-5
Croatia0.55-5
Italy0.65-5
Denmark0.95-5
Spain1.15-5
Poland1.15-5
Luxembourg1.55-5
Slovenia1.95-5
Malta2.15-5
Finland2.35-5
Germany2.45-5
Belgium2.55-5
France2.75-5
Austria3.25-5
Romania3.45-5
Netherlands3.85-5
Estonia5.35-5
Slovakia5.35-5
Czechia5.65-5
Latvia5.95-5
Lithuania6.95-5
Bulgaria7.15-5

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.7 shows the three-year percentage changes in REER values for the EU-27 in 2020. Ireland, at -1.2%, had the third most negative value. Hungary reported the largest decrease, with a value of -4.9%, while Bulgaria experienced the largest increase at 7.1%.

Indicator 4: Export Market Share

Export Market Share (5 yr % change)MIP Threshold
2011-10.29-6
2012-18.43-6
2013-10.83-6
2014-14.82-6
201537.6-6
201658.29-6
201770.91-6
201878.54-6
201973.36-6
202049.97-6

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2021

Get the data: Eurostat database

The export market share is calculated by dividing the exports of the country by the total exports of the world. For a country to increase its export market share its exports must increase at a faster rate than world exports. As a result, a country’s exports may increase but its export market share may still fall. To capture the structural losses in competitiveness that can accumulate over longer time periods, this indicator is calculated as the percentage change in values compared to five years previously.

Ireland experienced a negative export market share (taken as a five-year percentage change), and breached the MIP threshold, each year from 2011 to 2014. This equates to a decrease in Ireland's exports relative to total world exports. This trend changed in 2015, when the indicator value rose to 37.6%. The change largely relates to the amount of contract manufacturing carried out on behalf of Irish companies. The rise in contract manufacturing has led to the increase in goods exports from Irish companies, and is explained in the Contract Manufacturing Information Notice (PDF 516KB)  published by the CSO. The export market share indicator has shown positive 5-year percentage changes from 2015 onwards, most recently 50% in 2020. While remaining positive, the indicator value of 50% in 2020 was significantly lower than the 2019 value of 73.4%. This is again a reflection of the level change in contract manufacturing seen in 2015, with the 2015 value being the denominator of the 2020 five year percentage change.

Supplementary analysis:

Export Market Share (5 yr % change)MIP Threshold
Greece-10.1-6
France-6.86-6
Spain-6.77-6
Italy-2.84-6
Portugal-0.85-6
Croatia-0.07-6
Germany1.29-6
Sweden4.51-6
Austria5.19-6
Netherlands7.4-6
Slovakia8.1-6
Hungary8.17-6
Czechia10.09-6
Belgium10.88-6
Denmark11.47-6
Finland12.28-6
Malta13.15-6
Bulgaria16.04-6
Estonia17.56-6
Latvia18.24-6
Slovenia20.23-6
Luxembourg20.63-6
Romania20.64-6
Cyprus28.5-6
Poland36.94-6
Lithuania39.31-6
Ireland49.97-6

Get the data: Eurostat database

Ireland had the highest export market share indicator value in the EU in 2020, at 50%. This reflects Ireland's highly globalised economy and is partly driven by high levels of computer services exports.

IrelandChinaGermanyNetherlandsUnited KingdomMIP Threshold
2011-10.2933.800010426434-9.35-8.35-26.7970351008489-6
2012-18.4333.800010426434-16.84-12.91-21.7709884492509-6
2013-10.8330.8590651889941-13.23-11.59-11.4326608818904-6
2014-14.8232.3026312535725-9.7-11.54-9.41586908194722-6
201537.630.1592345387226-3.32-6.91.9065192274997-6
201658.2927.53536117150931.94-3.140.190666009076912-6
201770.9118.01752591889135.661.27-1.79385396117426-6
201878.5410.71536363676253.281.59-1.189743700578-6
201973.364.9843136316818-1.22-0.12-1.99552505071188-6
202049.973.265837222300511.297.4-12.7077394622261-6

Get the data: Eurostat databaseWorld Bank database

Figure 2.10 shows Ireland’s change in export market share relative to three of its largest European trading partners and China. From 2011 to 2014 Ireland and the other EU countries show negative export market share indicator values, breaching the MIP threshold of -6%. Conversely, China showed strong positive changes in export market share from 2011-2016, although these changes have declined significantly since 2016 to stand at 3.3% in 2020. Note that the country comparison data is sourced from Eurostat, with the exception of the data for China and the UK which is sourced from the World Development Indicators compiled by the World Bank.

Indicator 5: Nominal Unit Labour Cost

Nominal Unit Labour Costs (3 yr % change)MIP Threshold
2011-14.41827667999749
2012-9.93966426539479
2013-1.669344872659539
2014-3.441089178802789
2015-19.2782292105189
2016-16.23526906949
2017-14.44025791573989
2018-1.682727127379949
2019-4.280712601743919
2020-6.289727567684529

Source publication: National Income and Expenditure 2020

Get the data: PxStat N2001 (Employee Compensation/Total Labour Costs), Eurostat database (Total Employment, Number of Employees), Eurostat database (GDP at Market Prices)

The nominal unit labour cost is an index computed using the ratio of labour costs (compensation per employee) to labour productivity (GDP per person employed, including self-employed). A rise in an economy’s nominal unit labour cost index corresponds to an increase in labour costs relative to labour productivity, resulting in lower competitiveness. This Macroeconomic Scoreboard indicator is presented as a three-year percentage change.

Ireland has not breached the MIP threshold for this indicator at any point during the period 2011-2020. The indicator value has been consistently negative, which would indicate increasing competitiveness for Ireland, however it should be noted that large negative values of this indicator from 2015 to 2017 were substantially affected by the level-shift in GDP in 2015. In 2020, the three-year change in Ireland’s nominal unit labour cost was -6.3%. 

Supplementary analysis:

Nominal Unit Labour Costs (3 yr % change)Labour Productivity (3 yr % change)Labour Costs (3 yr % change)MIP Threshold
2011-14.418276679997412.8233922534458-3.44379660141489
2012-9.939664265394710.1100787318977-0.8344934164146859
2013-1.669344872659532.114312182726250.4096721480523639
2014-3.441089178802784.644170433757351.043271208713399
2015-19.27822921051825.79074448090741.540516434261079
2016-16.235269069425.81457981976125.388244257488019
2017-14.440257915739825.69257344962897.542241662571879
2018-1.682727127379949.958667956111848.108363621508739
2019-4.2807126017439113.97090518453769.092138283981489
2020-6.2897275676845215.82533333184448.54023541090899

Get the data: PxStat N2001 (Employee Compensation/Total Labour Costs), Eurostat database (Total Employment, Number of Employees), Eurostat database (GDP at Market Prices)

Breaking nominal unit labour cost into its two components shows the interrelationship between labour costs and productivity. Since 2011, the three-year percentage changes in labour costs have been consistently lower than those in labour productivity. From 2011 to 2012, and again from 2015 to 2017, labour productivity increased at a significantly faster rate than labour costs, resulting in sharp declines in nominal unit labour costs and increasing overall economic competitiveness. The gap between labour productivity growth and labour cost growth was narrower from 2013 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2020.  This resulted in smaller decreases in nominal unit labour costs and more moderate growth in overall economic competitiveness during these periods. It should be noted that labour productivity increases from 2015 to 2017 were mainly due to the large increase in GDP in 2015.

For more information on Labour Productivity, please see Auxiliary Indicator A8 Labour Productivity in the Auxiliary Indicators chapter.

Internal Indicators

Indicator 6: Deflated House Price Index

Deflated House Price Index (annual % change)MIP Threshold
2011-17.8490998583176
2012-14.40931176116756
20130.02545538070842486
201415.73533252608976
201510.73705077676446
20167.162459116809776
20179.776448247419666
20188.09039590339526
20190.3196708132421296
2020-0.169056644564746

Source publication: Residential Property Price Index, August 2021

Get the data: PXStat HPA06 (Residential Property Price Index), PxStat N2005 (Consumption at Current Market Prices by Item and Year), PxStat N2006 (Consumption at Constant Market Prices by Item and Year)

The deflated house price index is the ratio between the residential property price index and the national accounts deflator for private final consumption expenditure for households. This year-on-year percentage change indicator measures inflation in the housing market relative to inflation in the final consumption expenditure of households. The national accounts deflator for private final consumption expenditure is obtained by dividing final consumption expenditure of households at current market prices (79a) by final consumption expenditure of households at constant market prices (92a). The deflated house price index is then calculated by dividing the house price index by this deflator. These series are chain linked to 2015 for comparability across countries.

Figure 2.13 shows that Ireland experienced decreases in the deflated house price index from 2011 to 2012, following the financial crisis. A turning point was seen in 2013, with neither an increase nor a decrease in deflated house prices over the year. From 2014 to 2018, Ireland saw large increases in the deflated house price index and breached the MIP threshold of 6% in each of these years. These increases show that there was higher inflation in the Irish housing market relative to the final consumption of households. In 2019 and 2020, the deflated price index showed almost no year-on-year change, with changes of 0.3% and -0.2% respectively. This was a result of similar levels of inflation being seen for house prices as those of final consumption expenditure of households in general, approximately 2% for both in 2019, and amounts close to zero for both in 2020.

Deflated House Price Index (annual % change)Excluding DublinDublinMIP Threshold
2011-17.849099858317-18.6723192960662-16.80758947912416
2012-14.4093117611675-16.095243458881-12.57907115114086
20130.0254553807084248-8.055647487017978.417353734909376
201415.73533252608977.043356072314323.35584738549226
201510.737050776764412.4134084955069.226659871656066
20167.162459116809779.666048144503614.759849519437036
20179.7764482474196611.08743059369158.423317967829156
20188.09039590339529.807670996546016.470068569364586
20190.3196708132421292.70688066566068-1.995693280881936
2020-0.169056644564740.643073581244466-0.977029483325216

Get the data: PxStat HPA06 (Residential Property Price Index), PxStat N2005 (Consumption at Current Market Prices by Item and Year), PxStat N2006 (Consumption at Constant Market Prices by Item and Year)

Figure 2.14 shows a comparison of the year-on-year percentage change in the deflated house price index between Dublin and the rest of the country. In 2011 and 2012, Dublin experienced smaller decreases in the deflated house price index compared to the rest of the country. This trend continued into 2013 and 2014 as house prices began to recover post-recession, with Dublin experiencing faster growth in the deflated house price index compared to the rest of Ireland. From 2014 to 2018, the deflated house price index both for properties within and outside Dublin increased, with prices outside Dublin increasing at a faster rate than prices in Dublin from 2015. In 2020 the annual percentage change in the deflated house price index for Dublin was negative (-1%), while the corresponding figure for properties outside Dublin remained positive (0.6%).

Indicator 7: Private Sector Credit Flow

Private Sector Credit Flow (% of GDP)MIP Threshold
201116.342600512601414
2012-0.49937255818371714
2013-1.3723792320457914
20142.5512463465101214
2015-2.2710751695579514
2016-15.811017645467414
20170.2507781345753814
2018-8.7688273107278714
2019-9.5624507143393614
2020-1.8303678959235914

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2020

Get the data: PxStat IFI04

Private sector credit flow represents the net amount of liabilities (loans and debt securities) which non-financial corporations (NFCs, S.11), households (S.14) and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH, S.15) have incurred during the year. Transactions between units within each sector are eliminated to produce a consolidated presentation. The indicator is expressed as a percentage of GDP.

Figure 2.15 shows the indicator has been below the MIP threshold since 2012. The threshold breach in 2011 was caused principally by refinancing operations of large multinational groups during this period. In 2020, private sector credit flow was -1.8% of GDP, below the MIP threshold of 14%.

Supplementary analysis:

Non-Financial CorporationsHouseholdsTotal
201136.9087721037702-8.8512459229457828.0575261808244
20126.44057482644405-7.317037322579-0.876462496134952
20132.100474776747-4.56267696487747-2.46220218813047
201410.5530736457343-5.579835672536614.97323797319773
2015-1.44893020239336-4.51945593038586-5.96838613277921
2016-39.9761057444093-2.72282680172762-42.6989325461369
20171.44886989474456-0.7042463693441260.744623525400433
2018-26.9977708099452-1.59235900908063-28.5901298190259
2019-34.61869498633170.526046779992381-34.0926482063393
2020-3.73323463867146-3.09163071989-6.82486535856146
Show Table: Table 2.4 Breakdown of Private Sector Credit Flow, consolidated, 2011-2020 (€ billion)

The breakdown of private sector credit flow in Figure 2.16 shows that flows of non-financial corporations were generally much greater than flows of households. A positive credit flow represents a net incurrence of debt during the year whereas a negative credit flow indicates a net repayment of debt. There was a sharp increase in flows of corporate liabilities in 2011, reflecting broad activity in the multinational sector. In 2016, 2018 and 2019 the large negative credit flow values of -€42.7bn, -€28.6bn and -€34.1bn, respectively, were mainly caused by net repayment of non-financial corporate debt related to the funding of intellectual property. The figure for private sector credit flow in 2020 was -€6.8bn, split almost equally between households and non-financial corporations.

Negative credit flows occurring in the household sector from 2011 to 2020, cumulatively amounting to -€38.4bn, correspond to a net repayment, primarily of mortgage related debt. Credit flows in the household sector were negative for every year except for 2019, when household private sector credit flow was €0.5bn, meaning that the incurrence of debt and the repayment of debt by households were nearly equal that year. In 2020, households once again showed net repayments, with a credit flow of -€3.1bn, the most negative value seen since 2015.

Indicator 8: Private Sector Debt, consolidated

Private Sector Debt (% of GDP)MIP Threshold
2011273.1133
2012276.5133
2013266.1133
2014276.6133
2015304133
2016283.2133
2017249.8133
2018231.2133
2019209.4133
2020188.9133

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non Financial and Financial 2020

Get the data: PxStat IFI05

Private sector debt is the stock of liabilities in the form of loans and debt securities held by non-financial corporations (NFCs, S.11), households (S.14) and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH, S.15). Positions between units within each sector are eliminated to produce a consolidated presentation. This reflects the amount of funds that the sector receives from other sectors. The indicator is expressed as a percentage of GDP, as shown in Figure 2.17. For Ireland, this indicator has exceeded the threshold of 133% every year since 2001 (the first year of availability for this time series) and stood at 189% of GDP at the end of 2020.

Supplementary analysis:

NFCs (Foreign Parent)NFCs (Irish Parent)HouseholdsTotal Private Sector DebtMIP Threshold
2011102.31151657415166.6099730316921104.166805630406273.088295236249133
2012110.70025330268167.560094763348498.2599865109379276.520334576967133
201396.406647607626176.34198300690593.3298254622431266.078456076774133
2014110.82754000025284.813064277718580.9842228808358276.624827158806133
2015166.07483665309681.450855115785956.5053243684018304.031016137284133
2016143.69559352658887.157614513610552.3765139471641283.229721987362133
2017115.60834268018387.427388401456446.8053130255412249.841044107181133
2018113.63767169933774.564912239274442.9578798339506231.160463772562133
2019107.27168657551863.48678275503638.6627700372483209.421239367803133
202089.993139654111563.068521838444235.8696461438495188.931307636405133
Show Table: Table 2.5 Breakdown of Private Sector Debt, consolidated, 2011-2020 (% of GDP)

Figure 2.18 shows the residency of an NFC’s ultimate controlling parent as the basis for distinguishing between Irish-controlled and foreign-controlled enterprises. In the period since 2011, several large multinational corporations have relocated their head offices to Ireland (i.e. redomiciled PLCs/corporate inversions), becoming an Irish parent NFC in this analysis.

Household debt as a percentage of GDP has fallen every year from 2011 to 2020. In contrast, foreign parent NFCs have showed a less clear trend, with significant year on year fluctuations. Foreign parent NFC debt grew by 50% in 2015, causing the overall increase in private sector debt that year. This notable increase was driven by corporate restructuring, through both imports of individual assets and reclassifications of entire balance sheets in 2015, which meant that the level of capital assets in Ireland increased dramatically compared to 2014.

In 2018, for the first time since the economic crisis, the combined debt of Irish parent non-financial corporations and households fell below the MIP threshold. Debt of Irish parent NFCs has fallen every year since 2017. In 2020, debt levels of Irish parent NFCs and households were 63.1% of GDP and 35.9% of GDP respectively.

Redomiciled PLCsForeign Parent (ROW Debt)Irish Parent (ROW Debt)Foreign Parent (Irish Debt)Irish Parent (Irish Debt)HouseholdsMIP Threshold
20128.5938739124737269.01793529853359.5832034747480341.682318004147449.383017376126798.2599865109379133
201312.992998438222966.61470598342413.092078495197529.791941624202150.256906073484693.3298254622431133
201425.443500433480177.597012872096216.27956772996533.230527128155443.089996114273580.9842228808358133
201528.1755011609589146.66204101873214.86336852573219.412795634363838.41198542909556.5053243684018133
201631.9280687307912126.97641974114723.369592943772216.719173785440531.859952839047152.3765139471641133
201724.7872775145239100.44609423752733.168785624817315.16224844265629.471325262115246.8053130255412133
201829.365736831031598.008649464316824.190296614516415.629022235020221.008878793726542.9578798339506133
201921.330952700504391.960294324088424.505543983736615.3113922514317.650286070795138.6627700372483133
202015.105542952082478.129539457026933.014060992125211.863600197084614.948917894236735.8696461438495133
Show Table: Table 2.6 Breakdown of Private Sector Debt by Location of Counterparty, 2012-2020 (% of GDP)

Figure 2.19 shows a breakdown of private sector debt by location of counterparty i.e. whether the debt is held with an entity resident in Ireland (Irish Debt) or outside of Ireland (Rest of World Debt). This analysis exploits newly available classifications from the BPM6 methodology. The debt of redomiciled PLCs is shown separately from the other non-financial corporations.

Prior to 2017, entities with an Irish parent predominantly borrowed from Irish counterparties, although this trend reversed after 2017. Entities with foreign parents are consistently mostly indebted to non-resident counterparties. In 2015, there was a large increase in foreign parent NFC non-resident (ROW) debt. This was related to corporate restructuring, both for imports of individual assets and for reclassifications of entire balance sheets in 2015. As a percentage of GDP, 2020 saw a reduction in private sector debt across all counterparty groups except for Irish parent NFC non-resident (ROW) debt.

Indicator 9: General Government Debt

General Government Debt (% of GDP)MIP Threshold
2011110.51006797411560
2012119.66976805136960
2013120.03834770443360
2014104.33633947900360
201576.742389649923960
201674.294040539439760
201767.783446998400360
201863.134923921077960
201957.213499155741860
202058.441972918102660

Source publication: Government Finance Statistics October 2021

Get the data: PxStat GFQ13 (Government Debt), PxStat N2024 (GDP)

General government gross debt (GG debt) consists of liabilities in the financial instruments of currency and deposits (AF.2), debt securities (AF.3) and loans (AF.4). The scoreboard indicator is the ratio of GG debt to GDP, which is the standard approach to comparing public debt internationally. It should be noted that the MIP threshold is set at the same level as the Stability and Growth Pact Treaty obligations (see Stability and Growth Pact chapter).

The GG Debt level has been strongly influenced by the financial crisis, the most significant factor being the state interventions in the banking sector from 2009 onwards. For more see file: Ireland - Impact of Government Support for Financial Institutions October 2021 (XLS 24KB) (Source: CSO).

The GG debt ratio grew from 2011 to its peak in 2013, of 120%, and has decreased every year since. In 2014, the Irish state repaid approximately €9bn of the borrowings provided by the IMF, thus reducing both the ratio and level of debt. The decline in the GG debt ratio of 28 percentage points in 2015 is primarily due to the exceptional level of growth in GDP that year. The ratio has continued to decrease in subsequent years, again more as a result of GDP increases than any substantial reduction in the monetary value of debt. By the end of 2020, GG debt as a percentage of GDP had reduced to 58.4%, below the MIP threshold for the second consecutive year. The value of GG debt in 2020 stood at €217.9bn, following a €13.9bn increase in debt over the year, emphasising the strong role GDP increases are playing in the annual movements in this indicator value.

Supplementary analysis:

General Government Debt (% of GDP)General Government Debt (% of GNI*)MIP Threshold
2011110.510067974115149.1564465408860
2012119.669768051369165.53126428447660
2013120.038347704433157.54237350129160
2014104.336339479003136.64440622396660
201576.7423896499239124.03001137726460
201674.2940405394397114.79665400283860
201767.7834469984003108.71897366644260
201863.1349239210779104.05772924881260
201957.213499155741894.630604718053460
202058.4419729181026104.67580628116360

Source publication: National Income and Expenditure 2020

Get the data: PxStat GFQ13 (Government Debt), PxStat N2024 (GDP, GNI*)

Figure 2.21 shows GG debt both as a percentage of GDP, and as a percentage of GNI* (modified GNI excluding globalisation effects). Presenting debt in the context of GNI* can be more useful for analytical comparisons and, in particular, as a measure of the debt burden. In 2015, there was a significant change in the differential between government debt as a percentage of GDP and that as a percentage of GNI*, as a result of the substantial jump in GDP during the year. The difference between government debt as a percentage of GDP and government debt as a percentage of GNI* stood at 47.3% in 2015. The value of government debt decreased by less than 1% in 2015, while GDP and GNI* increased by 35% and 9% respectively.

Again, between 2015 and 2019, the reduction in government debt as a percentage of GDP/GNI* is mainly a result of increases in the values of GDP and GNI*, with the level of government debt in monetary terms at the end of 2019 higher than it had been in 2015. In 2020, GG debt as a percentage of GNI* increased by over 10% to stand at 104.7% at the end of the year. This increase came from a combination of GG debt increasing by 6.8% in monetary terms and GNI* decreasing by 3.4%. In contrast GG debt as a percentage of GDP moved much less in the same year, with a change of 1.2% seen as increased debt levels were somewhat offset by GDP increases over the year. For further information on GNI* and its calculation see the National Income and Expenditure 2020.

Currency and Deposits Debt SecuritiesLoansMIP Threshold
201134.009248611568354.76985154917921.730786062312260
201235.381455372616349.754910381607134.533603598524460
201317.477188949317562.797135781879939.763776479094460
201410.730743994778561.085941361214632.519743733611260
20157.8817365504680447.85601762966921.004489234699160
20167.8936595097248745.871381065927720.528968010544960
20177.2745004127102843.8196546653916.690935467042360
20186.6395628029627541.169834832505315.326782202458960
20196.2322959703809537.46325585025113.519318116334460
20206.3650029943052239.538062529089312.53063570413260

Source publication: Government Finance Statistics October 2021

Get the data: PxStat GFQ13 (Government Debt), PxStat N2024 (GDP)

Figure 2.22 shows a breakdown of general government debt into its constituent debt instruments, each shown as a percentage of GDP. The significant increase in loan liabilities during the years 2011-2013 is predominantly a result of the EU-IMF programme of financial support. The decline in the size of currency and deposits between 2012 and 2015 is mainly related to the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC). IBRC had been reclassified into the government sector from mid-2011 as a result of the financial crisis. Between 2015 and 2019, all debt instruments experienced a decrease as a percentage of GDP. In 2020, debt securities as a percentage of GDP increased by 2.1%, showing increased reliance on debt securities to fund remedial measures taken in response to COVID-19. 

GG Debt (% of GDP)MIP Threshold
Estonia1960
Bulgaria24.760
Luxembourg24.860
Czechia37.760
Sweden39.760
Denmark42.160
Latvia43.260
Lithuania46.660
Romania47.460
Malta53.460
Netherlands54.360
Poland57.460
Ireland (% of GDP)58.441972918102660
Slovakia59.760
Germany68.760
Finland69.560
Slovenia79.860
Hungary80.160
Austria83.260
Croatia87.360
Ireland (% of GNI*)104.67580628116360
Belgium112.860
France11560
Cyprus115.360
Spain12060
Portugal135.260
Italy155.660
Greece206.360

Source Publication: National Income and Expenditure 2020

Get the data: PxStat N2024 (IE GDP), PxStat GFQ13 (IE Government Debt), Eurostat database 

Expressed as a percentage of GDP, Ireland’s general government gross debt (58.4% of GDP) is mid-table, or 13th lowest, when compared to other EU member states. In contrast, Ireland's GG Debt as a percentage of GNI* (modified GNI excluding globalisation effects) was 104.7%. If GNI* for Ireland is comparable to GDP for other countries which are less significantly affected by globalisation, then Ireland had the eighth highest level of government debt as a ratio of economic activity in the EU in 2020.

Indicator 10: Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate (3 yr avg)MIP Threshold
201114.210
201215.1510
201314.883333333333310
201413.72510
201511.87510
201610.083333333333310
20178.3666666666666710
20186.9833333333333310
20195.8416666666666710
20205.5416666666666710

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat QLF02

The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labour force who are unemployed. The indicator is derived as a three-year average based on the reference year plus the previous two years.

This indicator exceeded the MIP threshold from 2010 to 2016 (Figure 2.24). Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend since 2012, dropping below the threshold in 2017. The unemployment rate was 5.5% in 2020, the lowest level over the 10-year period.

Supplementary analysis:

Unemployed 15-24 years ( 3 yr avg)Unemployed 25+ years ( 3 yr avg)Total Unemployed
201191.65228.608333333333320.258333333333
201289.375248.425337.8
201383.6333333333333247.733333333333331.366666666667
201475.5666666666667230.658333333333306.225
201564.5916666666667202.208333333333266.8
201655.825173.1228.925
201747.725144.766666666667192.491666666667
201842.4333333333333120.908333333333163.341666666667
201938.2583333333333100.583333333333138.841666666667
202039.283333333333393.35132.633333333333

Get the data: PxStat QLF04

Figure 2.25 shows the number of unemployed people, as a three-year average, broken down by age, illustrating the share of those who are younger than 25 and those who are aged 25 and over. The number of unemployed people in both age groups decreased every year from 2013 to 2019. While the number of unemployed people aged over 25 continued to decrease in 2020, to a figure of approximately 93,000, unemployment for those aged between 15 and 24 increased slightly to just over 39,000.

For further information on the unemployment levels for different age groups, please see the Labour Force Survey results and associated PxStat tables. Further information on youth unemployment can also be found in Indicator 14 below.

Industry + ConstructionWholesale & Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and MotorcyclesAll Other Services + Agriculture, Forestry and FishingNot Stated/Not ApplicableTotal Unemployed
2011110.04166666666735.67589.591666666666784.9166666666667320.258333333333
2012108.53333333333339.208333333333399.390.7666666666667337.8
201396.708333333333338.7166666666667102.04166666666793.9083333333333331.366666666667
201480.641666666666735.799.758333333333390.15306.225
201562.066666666666729.37588.786.6583333333333266.8
201646.27523.3576.383333333333382.9333333333333228.925
201734.691666666666719.033333333333364.208333333333374.5583333333333192.491666666667
201824.77516.183333333333356.491666666666765.8916666666667163.341666666667
201918.891666666666713.950.216666666666755.8166666666667138.841666666667
202016.133333333333313.67551.308333333333351.5083333333333132.633333333333
Show Table: Table 2.7 Number of unemployed people (by former sector of employment, 3 year average) 2011-2020

Figure 2.26 shows a breakdown of the number of unemployed people, as a three-year average, by previous sector of employment. The not stated/not applicable category in this figure includes persons who have never worked previously, and those who have worked previously but not during the past eight years. Unemployment, expressed as a three-year average, reduced across every category for each year in the period 2014 to 2020, with the exception of the All Other Services + Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing category, which experienced a 1.1% increase in 2020. The not stated/not applicable category, which includes those who are long-term unemployed, has had the largest contribution to the three-year average numbers of unemployed people every year since 2016.

Please note that we would urge care in using annual comparisons with 2020 data, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extended lockdown periods imposed as a result of this.

Indicator 11: Total Financial Sector Liabilities

Total Financial Sector Liabilities (y-o-y % change)MIP Threshold
2011-2.2220828195821716.5
2012-1.096110099010616.5
20132.0917809383607816.5
201419.501043652119716.5
20159.5858948933965216.5
20161.478700261193316.5
20174.2357133715446216.5
20185.2264791255784116.5
201915.257280878581116.5
20207.1603796330177416.5

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2020

Get the data: PxStat IFI03

This indicator measures the year-on-year change in the sum of all liabilities of the financial sector. Figure 2.27 shows that this indicator only breached the MIP threshold of 16.5% in the year 2014. The generally positive year-on-year growth in total financial sector liabilities over the period 2011-2020 has been heavily influenced by the expansion of the investment funds sector in Ireland. While there was a contraction in this indicator in 2011 and 2012, the investment funds sector has expanded every year since 2011, as can be seen in Figure 2.28. For more information on the financial sector see The Financial Sector in Ireland's National Accounts 2018.

Supplementary analysis: 

Central BankBanks and Money Market FundsInvestment FundsOther Financial CorporationsTotal Financial Sector
2011-28.15-266.049788753134173.07434539.143238723019-81.9822050301154
2012-38.537-149.020185593866199.627479115882-51.6119004491695-39.5416069271532
2013-32.837-92.8608256530001162.46226702544437.868354155873274.6327955283168
2014-23.167763211042275.7750680872714453.568690549474204.157252214157710.333247639861
2015-3.04001143301284-28.7275979925521165.44822688065283.581203575833417.261821030917
20164.7640630386530524.9376680294515119.28956238761-78.455298877517570.5359945781966
201720.46729669311-20.7265645678683278.917082799918-73.6208781544096205.036936770751
2018-6.11841708770861.1848033829708102.40161207376106.24485881693263.712857185953
201917.956592141.949460115325581.71894692911368.448201115108810.073200159545
202021.177057140.066240826057247.77522111748229.1604622867899438.17898123033
Show Table: Table 2.8 Breakdown of Change in Financial Sector Liabilities, 2011-2020 (€ billion)

The investment funds sector has shown continuous growth in balance sheet size since 2011. Figure 2.28 shows the effect of this growth on the financial sector in helping to offset the deleveraging which occurred in the banking sector from 2011 to 2013. The banking sector showed year-on-year growth in its balance sheet during 2014 for the first time in the period shown. Between 2015 and 2017, the banking sector liabilities have fluctuated between contracting and expanding, with small overall changes in size relative to previous years. More substantial levels of growth were seen in the banking sector between 2018 and 2020. An €810.1bn increase in total financial sector liabilities was seen in 2019, the largest increase in the ten-year period under observation. The investment funds sector accounted for €581.7bn of this increase, with the change driven by strong positive equity market performance and high levels of investment in debt securities during the year. In 2020 total financial sector liabilities increased by €438.2bn, a little over half the rate of increase seen in 2019.

It should be noted that part of the large increase in liabilities of the other financial corporations sector shown in 2014 and 2015 is a result of a newly available data source for this period. Another driver of this change is the growth in balance sheet size of treasury companies. More detail is provided in the CSO’s note on Measuring Shadow Banking in the Irish National Accounts.

Indicator 12: Activity Rate

Activity Rate (3 yr % change)MIP Threshold
2011-3.6-0.2
2012-1.9-0.2
20130.2-0.2
20140.6-0.2
20151-0.2
20160.9-0.2
20170.9-0.2
20180.8-0.2
20190.6-0.2
2020-0.8-0.2

Get the Data: Eurostat database

The activity rate (also known as the participation rate) is the percentage of the population aged 15-64 years in the labour force as a proportion of the total population of the same age. This indicator is measured as a three-year percentage point change. This indicator breached its threshold of -0.2 percentage points during the years 2011 and 2012. Between 2013 and 2019, the three-year percentage point change in the activity rate was consistently positive, indicating increasing labour force participation. In 2020, the activity rate indicator value was -0.8%, breaching the threshold the first time in eight years. It is worth noting that the negative indicator value in 2020 is driven by the labour force increasing at a slower rate than the general population. Further detail on changes in numbers of labour force participants is shown in Figure 2.31 below.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsFranceMIP Threshold
2011-3.61.40.60.30.4-0.2
2012-1.90.90.10.90.5-0.2
20130.20.9-0.31.50.9-0.2
20140.60.40.10.91.1-0.2
201510.40.30.60.9-0.2
20160.90.30.70.30.5-0.2
20170.90.50.90.70.5-0.2
20180.810.40.70.6-0.2
20190.61.30.21.20.3-0.2
2020-0.81.1-0.91.2-0.5-0.2

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.30 shows the change in Ireland’s activity rate compared with selected EU countries. From 2011 to 2012, and again 2020, the change in Ireland’s activity rate breached the MIP threshold of -0.2 percentage points. While Germany and the Netherlands did not breach the MIP threshold at any time during the ten-year period, Greece breached the threshold in 2013 and 2020, and France breached the threshold in 2020.

15 - 19 years20 - 24 years25 - 34 years35 - 44 years45 - 54 years55 - 64 yearsTotal
2011-51.825-88.575-38.074999999999918.875000000000116.47513.725-129.4
2012-25.35-75.7-43.52525.124999999999918.2514.175-87.0250000000001
2013-7.30000000000001-39.875-47.67536.47522.6522.475-13.2499999999999
2014-3.22499999999999-21.45-50.425000000000141.349999999999925.52525.6517.4249999999999
2015-4.02499999999999-9.80000000000001-52.724999999999939.1533.499999999999938.1544.25
201610.075-0.175000000000011-40.82537.349999999999926.634.167.1249999999999
20176.69999999999999-5.14999999999998-34.940.135.32538.780.7750000000001
20188.8252.82499999999999-27.475000000000140.525000000000133.07536.77594.55
2019-3.900000000000014.15000000000001-23.87535.22545.739.17596.4750000000001
2020-5.599999999999990-36.425-0.537.128.57523.1499999999999
Show Table: Table 2.9 Active population (by age group, 3 year change), 2011-2020

Figure 2.31 shows the three-year change in the number of labour force participants by age group. The decline in the activity rate in 2011 and 2012 was due to a large reduction in the number of 15 to 34-year olds in the labour force. For every year except 2020, the three-year change in the number of labour force participants aged 35-44 was positive, and this, along with the 45-54 age group, was and a significant driver of the increasing activity rate indicator. While the increasing trend for 45-54-year olds continued into 2020, those aged 35-44 experienced almost no change over the three year period reflected in the 2020 data point.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsSpainFrance
201171.277.367.378.173.969.9
201271.177.267.57974.370.4
201371.877.667.579.474.370.9
201471.877.767.47974.271
201572.177.667.879.674.371.3
201672.777.968.279.774.271.4
201772.778.268.379.773.971.5
201872.978.668.280.373.771.9
201973.379.268.480.973.871.7
202071.979.367.480.972.271

Get the data: Eurostat database

Compared to Germany and the Netherlands, two of the country’s largest European trading partners, Ireland has consistently had a relatively low activity rate. Ireland's activity rate has been higher than that of France and Greece and lower than that of Spain over the entire period 2011-2020, although the gap between Ireland and Spain has narrowed in recent years.

Indicator 13: Long-term Unemployment Rate

Long-tern Unemployment Rate (3 yr percentage point change)MIP Threshold
20117.033310391176030.5
20125.638682396937440.5
20131.046609287260830.5
2014-2.204194016343350.5
2015-3.868395876164390.5
2016-3.695801131938230.5
2017-3.514119529305230.5
2018-3.205091315031880.5
2019-2.631394767297180.5
2020-1.66467840769160.5

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat database

The long-term unemployment rate expresses the number of people aged 15 to 74 unemployed for over one year as a percentage of the active population of the same age. The MIP threshold for the three-year percentage point change of the long-term unemployment rate is 0.5%. From 2011 to 2013, Ireland’s long-term unemployment rate indicator increased at rates above the 0.5% threshold. However, since 2014, long-term unemployment as a three-year percentage point change has shown a decrease every year.

Supplementary analysis:

15-24 years25-44 years15-44 years45 years and over Total
201128.02588.325038.35154.675
201217.2567.725037.475122.5
2013-7.87513.15017.823.05
2014-15.925-33.301.75000000000001-47.475
2015-21.375-47.9250-13.725-83
2016-13.825-46.3250-19.5-79.6
2017-12.5-40.60-23.35-76.45
2018-11.025-36.850-22.9-70.825
2019-8.525-29.8750-20.95-59.375
202000-24.2-14.325-38.525
Show Table: Table 2.10 Number of People Long-term Unemployed (by age group, 3 year change), 2011-2020

Figure 2.34 and Table 2.10 show that the majority of the increase in long-term unemployed numbers from 2011 to 2012 (measured as a three-year change) came from the 25-44 years category. This age category also made the largest contribution to the decline in the numbers unemployed from 2014 to 2019. In 2020, the 15-24 years and 25-44 years age categories are combined, as effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in data for the 15-24 years category being insufficiently robust to publish.

2020
Czechia0.6
Poland0.6
Denmark0.9
Netherlands0.9
Germany1.1
Hungary1.1
Malta1.1
Sweden1.1
Estonia1.2
Finland1.2
Austria1.3
Ireland1.34814551610982
Romania1.5
Luxembourg1.7
Slovenia1.9
Croatia2.1
Cyprus2.1
Latvia2.2
Belgium2.3
Bulgaria2.3
Portugal2.3
Lithuania2.5
France2.9
Slovakia3.2
Italy4.7
Spain5
Greece10.9

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat databasePxStat QLF06 (Persons in Labour Force)

In 2020, Ireland had the 12th lowest long-term unemployment rate in the EU (Figure 2.35).

IrelandGermanyGreeceFranceNetherlandsSpain
20118.731137469449992.88.83.91.68.9
20129.156014255680352.414.54.21.911
20137.917473890484782.318.54.52.513
20146.526943453106642.219.54.52.912.9
20155.28761837951596218.24.6311.4
20164.221672758546551.7174.62.59.5
20173.012823923801421.615.64.21.97.7
20182.082527064484081.413.63.81.46.4
20191.590277991249371.212.23.415.3
20201.348145516109821.110.92.90.95

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat databasePxStat QLF06 (Persons in Labour Force)

Since 2011, Ireland’s long-term unemployment rate has been higher than two of its major trading partners (Germany and the Netherlands) but this gap has narrowed in recent years.

Indicator 14: Youth Unemployment

Youth Unemployment Rate (3 yr percentage point change)MIP Threshold
201116.12969404031562
20126.312946392619922
2013-1.398714983271152
2014-6.18563860082262
2015-10.58492089802612
2016-9.929689090993682
2017-9.008591028998012
2018-6.447631847233322
2019-4.293987735480982
20201.444354950793592

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2021

Get the data: PxStat QLF18 (ILO Participation, Employment and Unemployment Characteristics by Age Group)

The youth unemployment rate is the unemployment rate of people aged 15-24 as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. This indicator is expressed as a three-year change in percentage points. The MIP threshold for youth unemployment is a 2-percentage point increase over three years. Ireland’s youth unemployment increased at a rate exceeding this threshold between 2011 and 2012, with the highest increase of 16.1% seen in 2011. Substantial reduction in youth unemployment can be seen since 2013. In 2020, Ireland's youth unemployment indicator was 1.4%, the first positive figure in eight years. 

Supplementary analysis:

Unemployed Persons Aged 15-19 yrsUnemployed Persons Aged 20-24 yrs
20114.7524.325
2012-2.9-3.84999999999999
2013-3.35-13.85
2014-6.075-18.1
2015-10.4-22.55
2016-7.25-19.025
2017-6.2-18.15
2018-1.85-14.025
2019-2.1-10.375
20200.2752.8

Get the data: PxStat QLF18

Classifying the change in youth unemployment by age, Figure 2.38 shows that the change in youth unemployment is mainly driven by those aged from 20 to 24.

Youth Unemployment Rate
Germany7.4
Czechia8
Netherlands9.1
Austria10.5
Malta10.9
Poland10.8
Denmark11.6
Hungary12.8
Bulgaria14.2
Slovenia14.2
Latvia14.9
Belgium15.3
Ireland15.8
Romania17.3
Estonia17.9
Cyprus18.2
Slovakia19.3
Lithuania19.6
France20.2
Croatia21.1
Finland21.4
Portugal22.6
Luxembourg23.2
Sweden23.9
Italy29.4
Greece35
Spain38.3

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.39 shows Ireland’s youth unemployment rate compared to its EU neighbours for 2020. Ireland's youth unemployment rate sits mid-table, 13th lowest, in 2020.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsSpain
201129.59320894267948.544.71046.2
201230.7915057915058855.311.752.9
201326.71938866180917.858.313.255.5
201423.40757034185687.752.412.753.2
201520.20658489347977.249.811.348.3
201616.78969957081557.147.310.844.4
201714.39897931285886.843.68.938.6
201813.75895304624646.239.97.234.3
201912.49571183533455.835.26.732.5
202015.84333426365247.4359.138.3

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.40 shows the youth unemployment rate for the period 2011-2020. This is the number of 15-24 year olds unemployed expressed as percentage of the labour force (also known as active population) of the same age. Since 2011, Ireland’s youth unemployment rate has been relatively high when compared to the Netherlands and Germany, but remains significantly lower than that of Spain and Greece.

Next Chapter: Auxiliary Indicators >>