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Monthly Unemployment

August 2015

 Seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (%)
August 2014238,700 11.1
July 2015206,100 9.5
August 2015206,500 9.5
   Percentage Points
Change in month 400  0.0
Change in year- 32,200 - 1.6

Monthly unemployment rate of 9.5% in August 2015

Figure 1 Monthly Unemployment Seasonally Adjusted
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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2015 was 9.5%, unchanged from the July 2015 rate and down from 11.1% in August 2014. The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 206,500 in August 2015, an increase of 400 when compared to the July 2015 figure or a decrease of 32,200 when compared to August 2014. The second quarter of 2015 is the latest quarter for which QNHS benchmark figures are available and the previously published monthly unemployment estimates were revised with the availability of that data. 

Summary points for August

  • In August 2015 the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6% for males, down from 10.7% in July 2015 and down from 12.5% in August 2014.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in August 2015 was 8.1%, unchanged from July 2015 and down from 9.4% in August 2014.
  • The number of males unemployed in August 2015 was 127,000. This remains unchanged when compared to the July 2015 figure. In August 2015 the number of females unemployed was 79,500, an increase of 400 from the July 2015 figure.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 years (youth unemployment rate) was 20.7% in August 2015. This remains unchanged from July 2015.




The data in this release are subject to revision, caused by updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added. In addition it should be noted that larger revisions can occur when the most recent Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) data are included in the calculation process. Revised figures will be produced upon the publication of each new set of benckmark figures from the QNHS and these revisions will be included in the QNHS release.


Table 1a Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - All persons aged 15-74 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013August176,60096,700273,300 14.810.012.7
 September172,50097,100269,600 14.510.112.5
 October167,00099,100266,200 14.010.312.3
 November163,600100,200263,800 13.710.412.2
 December162,700100,000262,700 13.710.312.2
2014January163,90098,700262,600 13.810.212.2
 February164,20097,000261,200 13.810.112.1
 March163,00095,800258,800 13.79.912.0
 April160,80092,100252,900 13.69.611.8
 May158,40091,200249,600 13.49.511.6
 June154,60090,300244,900 13.19.411.4
 July151,20090,700241,900 12.89.411.3
 August148,40090,300238,700 12.59.411.1
 October142,50085,100227,600 12.18.810.6
 November140,40082,000222,500 11.98.510.4
 December139,00080,400219,400 11.88.410.2
Table 1b Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 15-24 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013August33,60022,10055,700 29.722.126.2
 September32,40022,60055,000 28.922.926.1
 October30,70023,00053,700 27.823.825.9
 December29,40022,80052,200 27.224.325.8
2014January30,20022,20052,400 28.023.826.0
 February30,60021,80052,400 28.423.626.2
 March29,90021,60051,500 28.123.526.0
 April28,70021,20049,900 27.423.425.5
 May28,00020,60048,600 26.922.825.0
 June27,10019,80047,000 26.221.824.1
 July26,90018,90045,800 26.020.523.5
 August26,80018,10044,900 26.019.623.0
 September26,50017,20043,800 25.818.722.4
 October26,40016,00042,400 25.617.721.9
 November26,40015,40041,800 25.417.421.7
 December26,50015,40041,900 25.417.621.8
2015January26,80015,90042,700 25.518.422.3
 February26,50016,00042,400 25.118.922.4
 March25,30015,50040,900 24.318.121.5
 April24,20015,10039,300 23.417.420.6
 May23,30015,20038,400 22.817.520.4
 June22,80015,40038,300 22.818.120.7
 July22,70016,10038,800 22.718.420.7
 August22,60016,20038,800 22.718.520.7
Table 1c Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 25-74 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013August143,00074,600217,600 13.38.611.2
 September140,10074,600214,600 13.08.611.0
 October136,40076,100212,500 12.68.810.9
 November134,20077,300211,500 12.48.910.8
 December133,40077,100210,500 12.38.810.8
2014January133,70076,500210,200 12.48.810.8
 February133,60075,300208,800 12.48.610.7
 March133,00074,200207,300 12.38.510.6

Background Notes


The purpose of this release is to provide a detailed series of monthly unemployment estimates. The release contains both monthly unemployment rates and monthly unemployment volumes. These outputs now replace the seasonally adjusted Standardised Unemployment Rate (SUR) as the definitive measure of monthly unemployment.

Calculation of Monthly Estimates:

The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) provides benchmark estimates of employment and unemployment for each quarter since the beginning of 1998. These quarterly benchmark estimates are then used to compile monthly data using the Proportional Denton method. The main characteristic of this method is that the monthly Live Register series is used as an indicator to disaggregate the quarterly QNHS unemployment series into a monthly series in such a way as to minimise the differences between two consecutive months. It also ensures that the average of three months in a particular calendar quarter is equal to the corresponding QNHS estimate.

For months where the quarterly unemployment data is not yet available, the ratio of the QNHS monthly estimate to the Live Register monthly estimate (i.e. the benchmark to indicator ratio) is forecast forward in order to extrapolate a monthly QNHS estimate. The monthly series is revised each quarter when the latest quarterly data becomes available. This approach adheres to agreed international practice.

For example, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2015 was originally published on August 5th as 9.7%; it was subsequently revised to 9.5% on August 26th following the publication of the QNHS benchmark figures for Quarter 2 2015 (see Tables A3 to A5 of the Quarter 2 2015 QNHS release) and remains unchanged at 9.5% in this release.

Seasonal Adjustment:

To correct for typical seasonal patterns, the data series included have been concurrently seasonally adjusted. This seasonal adjustment is completed by applying the X-12-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau In the case of these monthly unemployment estimates, seasonal adjustment is conducted using the indirect approach, where each individual series is independently adjusted.  To preserve consistency between the individual and aggregate series, the series for gender, age group and total monthly unemployed are then created from these component series. The series for monthly unemployment rates are likewise created from these component series.

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)

The One-Parent Family Payment is a social welfare payment for men and women who are younger than 66 and bring up children without the support of a partner and meet certain other criteria. Claimants on this scheme are not counted as part of the Live Register.

From July 2013 new rules came into operation reducing the age limits for the One-Parent Family Payment. This means that some people no longer qualify for the payment and may avail of other schemes or supports.

As a consequence, approximately 2,800 people in July 2015 previously receiving the One-Parent Family Payment, made a claim for Jobseekers Allowance (JA) and are therefore included in the Live Register figures which are used to extrapolate a monthly QNHS estimate as the quarterly unemployment data is not yet available. It can be noted that the inclusion of these additional persons in July 2015 has a marginal impact on the production of the estimated monthly unemployment volume and rate.

Additional Background Information:

Further information regarding the QNHS and Live Register series are available from each respective release.

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