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Information Notice - Labour Force Survey Quarter 3 2017

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The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) was first introduced by the CSO in Q4 1997 and has been used to produce estimates of employment and unemployment for Ireland since its introduction. In recent years, however, the CSO identified a need to modernise and update the QNHS and therefore it is now replacing the survey with the new Labour Force Survey (LFS) from Q3 2017. Therefore, with effect from Q3 2017 the LFS is the official source of estimates of employment and unemployment for Ireland.

This modernisation has been undertaken to primarily improve the quality of Labour Market statistics for Ireland. Mixed mode (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing – CATI) has now been introduced as part of the LFS to create additional capacity to meet evolving social survey data needs in the fields of, for example, Health, Education and Wealth Statistics. The CSO has also reviewed and modernised the questionnaire used in the new LFS and plans to use the flexibility of the mixed mode data collection to pilot additional questions in the LFS.

The weekly allocation of the sample used in the LFS has also been updated. This has been undertaken to facilitate the CSO examining the future possibility of producing a wider range of monthly Labour Market directly from the LFS. The CSO will also examine the possibility of further improving the timeliness of Labour Market estimates.

In addition, the approach used to code the Industry and Occupation sectors of respondents has been updated to improve the quality of these codes while a non-response adjustment has also been introduced to the LFS. The Seasonal Adjustment methodology applied to the survey has also been updated.

Census of Population 2016

As the LFS (and previously the QNHS) is a sample survey, independent population estimates are required each quarter to provide a weighting basis for the labour market statistics produced. The process of deriving these population totals involves using the population counts from the most recent Census of Population as a base, and updating these each quarter using information on births, deaths and migration for that quarter. These population estimates are then revised once a new Census of Population has been completed.

As the process of revising these quarterly population estimates has now been completed, the new LFS publication takes account of these revisions.
The last Census of Population benchmarking exercise was undertaken in November 2012 when all QNHS estimates were revised using the Census of Population 2011.With the availability of results from the Census of Population 2016, the CSO has now revised the population estimates for the period Q3 2011 to the current quarter using the new benchmark population totals for 2016. The introduction of the difference would be expected to be cumulative in nature, with relatively small differences in the earlier periods with the difference increasing over time.

Given the critical importance of accurate labour market estimates, the CSO also revises labour market estimates using the updated population estimates. Therefore, the results published for the Q3 2017 LFS incorporate the new population estimates for each quarter since Q3 2011 into the weighting methodology.

The focus of the labour market estimates derived from the LFS is the working age population (persons aged 15 years or more). The original population estimate for the QNHS for the second quarter of 2016 for the working age population was 3,637,700 while the revised estimate from the Census of Population 2016 for the same quarter is 3,734,100 - a difference of 2.7% (96,400).

The difference of 96,400 between the original Q2 2016 QNHS population estimates and the updated estimate was not distributed evenly across all sub-groups within the population. Specifically, the difference was concentrated in the 15-19 age group, the 20-24 age group and the 25-29 age group. Figure 1 shows the original QNHS population estimates for persons aged 15 years and over in Q2 2016 broken down by age group together with the new population estimates after the finalisation of the Census of Population 2016 while the exact level of change by age group is summarised in Table 1 below.

Before Census 2016After Census 2016
Table 1 Population estimates by age group (working age population), Q2 2016 - QNHS published estimates and population estimates after Census of Population 2016
Age groupBefore Census 2016 After Census 2016 Absolute change Percentage change Proportion of total - before Census 2016 Proportion of total - after Census 2016


Almost half of the total difference of 96,400 was recorded in the 20-24 age group (45,300 or 46.9%) representing an increase in the estimated population of this age group of 19.8%. The 25-29 age group accounted for 15.1% of the overall difference while the 15-19 age group accounted for 12.6%.

In proportional terms, by far the greatest impact is again seen for the 20-24 age group. Based on the previous population estimates, this group had accounted for 6.3% of the total working age population. Following the revisions, this now increases to 7.3%. The proportional changes among the other age groups were less significant.

There are also differences in the breakdown of the population by nationality between the old population estimates and the Census of Population 2016 results. Table 2 below shows the updated working age populations by nationality. The updated Irish national working age population for Q2 2016 is now 118,500 or 3.8% higher, while the non-Irish working age population is now 22,000 or 4.4% lower. There are also significant changes within this non-Irish working age populations – whereas the population of the EU15 excluding Ireland and the UK is now estimated to be 31,900 or 116.0% higher, the working age population of the Other nationality grouping is now estimated to be 58,900 or 34.1% lower.

Table 2 - Population by nationality, pre and post Census, Q2 2016
 Before Census 2016 After Census 2016 Absolute change Percentage change
Irish nationals3,132.33,250.8118.53.8
Non-Irish nationals505.4483.4-22.0-4.4
of which:
United Kingdom108.999.2-9.7-8.9
EU15 excl. Irl and UK27.559.431.9116.0
EU15 to EU28196.3211.014.77.5


New Labour Force Survey

The introduction of the new LFS is part of a wider Household Survey Development (HSD) modernisation project that the CSO has been engaged in over the past number of years. This project was undertaken to expand the range of social statistics to meet new needs for information on households and persons, to introduce methodological improvements to the survey and to modernise survey processes.
Therefore, the following methodological changes were made as part of the introduction of the new LFS:

  • Mixed Mode Data Collection

One of the primary aims of the HSD project was to facilitate an expansion of the range of social statistics to meet new needs for information on households and persons and to deliver this increase using the existing interviewer field force.  This increase has been delivered by introducing mixed mode data collection as part of the new LFS and therefore Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) data collection is now used in the LFS and this then allows the existing interviewer field force to collect additional social surveys.

As with the QNHS, information is collected from each sample household over 5 successive quarters or waves. However, in the LFS, the first interview is conducted by a team of face-to-face interviewers using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) while the remaining four follow-up interviews are conducted using CATI from a dedicated call centre.

  • Sample Allocation

In the QNHS, each wave of interviews took place in a particular 2-3 week period during the quarter and the sample was only representative when considered over the full quarter. In the LFS however, all five interview waves have been distributed equally across the quarter such that data is collected from each of the waves in each week of the quarter. This change will allow the CSO investigate the possibility of producing monthly labour market statistics directly from the LFS. 

  • Non-response Adjustment

Over recent years, response rates for household surveys have been falling in both Ireland and other countries. Typically, non-response occurs when households that are sampled, and that are eligible for the survey, do not provide the requested information. This can lead to biased survey estimates if specific groups within the population are over or under-represented and if these groups behave differently with respect to the survey variables (i.e. labour market outcomes).

To correct for this, the CSO has introduced a non-response adjustment into the weighting procedure for the LFS from Q3 2017 onwards. The adjustment applies extra weight to the groups who tend to be less likely to respond to the survey to make the results from the achieved sample more representative of the target sample and target population.

  • Questionnaire Review

The questionnaire (survey instrument) previously used in the QNHS was reviewed in line with the introduction of the new LFS. This involved standardising some questions and making them more suitable for telephone interviewing. In addition, some questions which had been added at various stages of the QNHS were removed as they were not necessary to meet regulatory requirements. The questionnaire review provides the capacity to add labour market related questions to the LFS in future on such topics as zero-hour contracts and the ‘gig’ economy.

  • Industry and Occupation Coding

In the QNHS, CSO interviewers collected information on the industrial sector of the enterprise that a respondent worked in as well as collecting information on the respondent’s occupation and the interviewers then coded these descriptions on the doorstep using look-up files on their handheld computer. In the LFS, interviewers collect a detailed description of the enterprise and occupation from respondents and these are then coded in-house at the CSO by an automated process which is reviewed by a small dedicated team of coding experts. This new approach reduces subjectivity and increases the quality and standard of the coding of these key variables.

  • Seasonal Adjustment Methodology

The seasonal adjustment methodology has been reviewed following the introduction of the new LFS in Q3 2017. Following this review, from Q3 2017 onwards, the seasonal adjustment of the LFS is conducted using the X-13ARIMA-SEATS produced, distributed and maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. The adjustments are carried out by applying the X-13-ARIMA model to the unadjusted data. This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment, such as:

•    Calendar effects e.g. the timing of Easter
•    Outliers, temporary changes, and level shifts in the series

For additional information on the use of X-13ARIMA-SEATS see:

Seasonal adjustment is conducted using the direct approach, where each individual series is independently adjusted. As a result of this direct seasonal adjustment approach it should be noted that the sum of any component series may not be equal to seasonally adjusted series to which these components belong, e.g. the seasonally adjusted number of males in employment and the seasonally adjusted number of females in employment will not necessarily add up to the total employment on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The X-13-ARIMA method has the X-11 moving averages process at its core, but builds on this by providing options for pre-treating the series using a regARIMA approach for prior adjustment and series extension i.e. this methodology will estimate seasonal factors while taking account of calendar effects (e.g. timing of Easter), outliers, temporary changes and level shifts.

The seasonal adjustment is designed and implemented in full accordance with the ESS Guidelines (2015).

Review of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector estimates (Q1 2009 – Q3 2013)

The CSO has reviewed the previously published Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector estimates for the Q1 2009 to Q3 2013 period to address issues previously identified in this sector. As a result, estimates for this period for the sector have been revised resulting in a consistent series over that period. These revisions to the sector also result in minor revisions to other NACE Rev. 2 sectors over the period.

This revision was undertaken as the CSO previously undertook an analysis of the trend in of employment in this sector over the period and the analysis showed that the trend was influenced by the introduction of a sample which commenced in Q1 2009 and was included until Q3 2013.

The new estimates have been produced by examining the trend recorded in the sector between the Censuses of Population 2006 and 2011 by region and sex. These trends have now been used to derive new estimates of employment in the sector for Q2 2011 and these new benchmarks have been used to produce new estimates for all quarters which needed to be revised.

Administrative data sources related to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector were also examined for the period in question. The examination of this data indicated that the sector could have been expected to have been largely unchanged over the period and the new updated LFS series for this sector now reflects this expectation.

Summary of Revisions to Previously Published Estimates

As a result of the Census of Population 2016 revisions, the move to a new LFS survey and the review of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector estimates for the Q1 2009 to Q3 2013 period, the previously published labour market series are now revised.

Backcasting of Headline Indicators

To minimise the breaks in series to the key survey estimates, the CSO has created a backcasted QNHS series from Q1 1998 to Q2 2017. These backcast series have been created using scaling factors from a comparison of data captured from a parallel run of the QNHS and LFS at the beginning of 2017.

These backcast series are consistent with the LFS series that is being published for the following main indicators:

•    Employed males aged 15-24 years
•    Employed males aged 25+ years
•    Unemployed males aged 15-24 years
•    Unemployed males aged 25+ years
•    Inactive males aged 15-24 years
•    Inactive males aged 25+ years
•    Males aged < 15 years
•    Employed females aged 15-24 years
•    Employed females aged 25+ years
•    Unemployed females aged 15-24 years
•    Unemployed females aged 25+ years
•    Inactive females aged 15-24 years
•    Inactive females aged 25+ years
•    Females aged < 15 years

Scaling factors were also calculated for the NACE Rev. 2 groups published in Table 2a of the LFS release, broken down by sex, resulting in 30 additional categories. As a result, these series are also consistent with the new LFS series.

It was not possible, however, to control for all of the series included in the QNHS release. Therefore, other than the headline indicators and NACE Rev. 2 series described above, there may be changes in the levels of other series from Q3 2017 onwards and consequently users should exercise caution when comparing data from before and after this period.

Overall Impact on Labour Market Estimates

All QNHS series have been revised from Q1 1998 to Q2 2017 inclusive. The Census of Population revisions have been applied to the period from Q3 2011 to Q2 2017 inclusive; the scaling factors which resulted from the introduction of the new LFS for the headline indicators and the NACE Rev. 2 groupings in Table 2a have been applied from Q1 1998 to Q2 2017 inclusive and the review of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector estimates have been applied from Q1 2009 to Q3 2013 inclusive.

These revisions are incorporated in the results for Q3 2017 and the clearest impact is seen on volume estimates for both employment and unemployment.

  • Number of persons in employment

Figure 2 below illustrates the volume effect of the Census of Population 2016 revisions and the LFS on the historic QNHS employment series for a selected period. This graph contains three series:

•    QNHS: the previously published QNHS estimates;
•    COP 2016: the previously published QNHS estimates adjusted for the Census of Population 2016;
•    LFS: the previously published QNHS estimates adjusted for both the Census of Population 2016 and the new LFS.

Q1 16204420821976
Q2 16208321282015
Q3 16211121592040
Q4 16211921642048
Q1 17211621592045
Q2 17213821812063

In the absence of the new LFS undertaking, the existing QNHS series would still be updated to the ‘COP 2016’ line on the graph based on the new population estimates.

Table 3 below shows the exact level of change to the original QNHS estimate arising from the Census of Population 2016 revisions and subsequently the adjustment to the level of the new LFS.

Table 3 Impact of Census of Population 2016 Revisions and LFS on employment estimates, Q1 2016 - Q2 2017
 Historical QNHS estimate (1)QNHS estimate with Census 2016 Revisions (2)New LFS series (3)Adjustment due to Census of Population Revisions (2)-(1)Adjustment to LFS level (3)-(2)
Q1 161,976.52,044.32,081.967.837.6
Q2 162,014.92,083.12,127.768.144.7
Q3 162,040.52,110.62,158.770.148.1
Q4 162,048.22,118.92,164.270.745.3
Q1 172,045.12,116.42,158.771.342.3
Q2 172,063.02,138.42,181.275.442.8


The most recently published employment estimate, which was for Q2 2017, was 2,063,000. This figure increases by 75,400 to 2,138,400 following the Census of Population 2016 revisions. When the adjustment for the LFS is applied, the figure increases by a further 42,800 to 2,181,200. Therefore, in Q2 2017, the revisions to employment estimates arising from the Census of Population 2016 accounted for 63.8% of the total 118,200 increase in employment between the new LFS series and the historic QNHS series while the adjustment for the LFS accounted for 36.2%.

Figure 3 below compares the number of persons employed for the historic QNHS series, with Census of Population 2016 revisions applied, and the new LFS series for males, females and all persons. While there have been slight increases in the level for both males and females, the trend is the same for both series.

All persons - QNHSMales - QNHS Females - QNHSAll persons - LFSMales - LFSFemales - LFS
Q1 981485.92027898.21847587.70181550.38634934.96151615.42483
Q2 981506.47905910.71755595.76151572.09489948.32916623.76573
Q3 981561.45636940.29367621.162691636.33124982.79018653.54106
Q4 981548.78643935.30792613.478511615.89241973.91458641.97783
Q1 991576.17652943.70368632.472841644.53109982.94268661.58841
Q2 991607.23955960.68456646.554991679.225971001.83253677.39344
Q3 991665.5758993.64252671.933281746.785251039.40467707.38058
Q4 991650.80375985.04648665.757271723.123031026.17537696.94766
Q1 001655.63867988.12502667.513651726.804811029.202697.60281
Q2 001684.84053999.37464685.465891758.409861041.88528716.52458
Q3 001735.437151026.17225709.26491818.576571073.36444745.21213
Q4 001714.81231015.86926698.943041787.75481057.75766729.99714
Q1 011710.363691013.43803696.925661780.511311053.99311726.5182
Q2 011738.368041027.264711.104041809.801531068.77027741.03126
Q3 011786.916191049.64949737.26671866.938041094.87384772.0642
Q4 011762.759351031.78518730.974171833.237671071.69809761.53958
Q1 021757.176041025.89646731.279581825.251221064.57217760.67905
Q2 021768.776161031.50655737.269611840.34431072.15841768.18589
Q3 021802.696581050.01969752.676891883.571041095.20693788.36411
Q4 021777.410771034.23387743.17691850.342971075.23805775.10492
Q1 031783.115421037.293745.822421855.677951078.1252777.55275
Q2 031800.070881045.2204754.850481873.998511086.57528787.42323
Q3 031831.03281064.58483766.447971912.888131110.37622802.51191
Q4 031826.06411060.50123765.562871899.557691101.18038798.37731
Q1 041829.719051062.63685767.08221902.400731102.91378799.48695
Q2 041852.44041075.44802776.992381925.894791116.80844809.08635
Q3 041902.460691103.66113798.799561984.17551148.66327835.51223
Q4 041899.758951098.21592801.543031973.804271138.39286835.41141
Q1 051917.167841107.43691809.730931989.736291147.80296841.93333
Q2 051944.604421120.36557824.238852018.086621160.58259857.50403
Q3 051993.991161153.01903840.972132073.438571196.95356876.48501
Q4 051995.270251153.36783841.902422070.087041194.20731875.87973
Q1 062009.476011161.28573848.190282083.068031202.74458880.32345
Q2 062035.056861174.12069860.936172110.458461216.31108894.14738
Q3 062078.362551198.55428879.808272159.615981244.53123915.08475
Q4 062091.223631202.37569888.847942167.590571245.84467921.7459
Q1 072110.631291208.60801902.023282186.930351251.90277935.02758
Q2 072136.109311219.79405916.315262213.43021263.15258950.27762
Q3 072169.602571236.07998933.522592252.247941281.81545970.43249
Q4 072155.954351221.77801934.176342232.914141264.38289968.53125
Q1 082146.361481209.88815936.473332219.507911249.87691969.631
Q2 082147.346451208.63985938.70662220.115231248.03822972.07701
Q3 082136.444641198.16225938.282392209.832681237.86409971.96859
Q4 082083.459851158.54222924.917632146.622071191.56021955.06186
Q1 091996.387791092.88828903.499512054.142591121.97997932.16262
Q2 091973.984011071.78933902.194682029.331021099.40594929.92508
Q3 091953.55071056.28186897.268842006.760461082.72696924.0335
Q4 091921.435951034.27734887.158611970.402241058.30029912.10195
Q1 101891.882441013.97657877.905871935.99531036.08977899.90553
Q2 101893.639721015.70199877.937731938.003421037.90046900.10296
Q3 101886.059591015.60004870.459551930.599421038.29259892.30683
Q4 101857.28755994.10311863.184441897.65511014.01979883.63531
Q1 111841.80534984.52161857.283731880.352851003.64819876.70466
Q2 111861.2827992.79373868.488971900.063081012.17893887.88415
Q3 111846.23504990.176125856.0589111885.201441010.17623875.02521
Q4 111850.60371989.194587861.4091191888.160181008.48577879.67441
Q1 121828.68185974.079012854.6028351863.19075990.78302872.40773
Q2 121842.32619980.461383861.8648051877.83915998.09455879.7446
Q3 121849.10891991.044673858.0642421887.063641010.40353876.66011
Q4 121857.14217992.98514864.157031893.151351011.2402881.91115
Q1 131857.20555997.986196859.2193491892.145191016.08536876.05983
Q2 131888.92281015.01251873.9102951926.195741034.46944891.7263
Q3 131920.524511036.84835883.676161961.356271058.41316902.94311
Q4 131932.864651047.84954885.0151121970.880641068.59603902.28461
Q1 141915.480521036.44403879.0364951950.595731055.48901895.10672
Q2 141933.903871046.29817887.6057041970.216991066.42641903.79058
Q3 141967.199781067.54646899.6533182008.944761089.71702919.22774
Q4 141985.245271076.13993909.1053342025.089911097.30912927.78079
Q1 151977.172471073.26318903.9092952014.381561093.75857920.62299
Q2 152011.273451092.57626918.6971972050.096411114.22139935.87502
Q3 152037.343331109.19658928.1467462080.324541132.62202947.70252
Q4 152045.266141103.802941.4641362085.027721125.10099959.92673
Q1 162043.991851101.9026942.0892452081.920091123.33693958.58316
Q2 162082.258951124.18789958.0710542127.736111148.75956978.97655
Q3 162109.745011143.96958965.7754322158.729771170.84132987.88845
Q4 162119.24381147.63283971.6109742164.212231171.49573992.7165
Q1 172116.437121142.96099973.4761332158.713451165.47544993.23801
Q2 172137.172871153.03872984.1341482181.177931176.427181004.75075
  • Number of persons unemployed

In terms of unemployment estimates again the trend is largely the same for both males and females but in terms of volume, there is a larger increase in the level of unemployed females when compared to males.

All persons - QNHSMales - QNHS Females - QNHSAll persons - LFSMales - LFSFemales - LFS
Q1 98137.1623283.2684153.89391150.5281285.5338864.99424
Q2 98127.8826678.7556249.12704140.818981.6165459.20236
Q3 98120.7230874.5545246.16856132.9002877.2554255.64486
Q4 98100.7359363.2995137.43642110.2530765.1246345.12844
Q1 99101.17561.7903739.38463110.9358163.4359447.49987
Q2 99102.2998162.5402239.75959113.0244265.1143147.91011
Q3 9994.6866956.1930638.49363104.918358.536346.382
Q4 9984.158950.5012533.6576592.6555452.068240.58734
Q1 0080.1922147.9364432.2557787.8798548.9838838.89597
Q2 0081.3390147.7293833.6096390.2462449.7433540.50289
Q3 0076.3763145.405130.9712184.8404647.5207237.31974
Q4 0063.7489639.5652324.1837369.919740.769629.1501
Q1 0165.9876539.3384926.6491672.8540440.7087932.14525
Q2 0169.6757841.5335228.1422677.805443.8984233.90698
Q3 0178.399346.3751332.0241787.7709149.1835138.5874
Q4 0172.1874346.3752625.8121779.6734848.560931.11258
Q1 0277.7413148.6611129.080285.7112250.6451935.06603
Q2 0282.5038551.2560231.2478391.7829454.2836737.49927
Q3 0282.3110350.54731.7640391.1705653.109938.06066
Q4 0288.2725254.9203233.352297.2405457.1703340.07021
Q1 0384.9631153.5400331.4230893.2259955.4507337.77526
Q2 0387.4695154.6073432.8621796.7006257.2184639.48216
Q3 0393.6842357.1952336.489103.8837859.9683143.91547
Q4 0381.2678851.4771629.7907289.3241453.441435.88274
Q1 0492.9904357.728135.26233101.766959.3627142.40419
Q2 0488.5495656.7846431.7649297.0271659.0636737.96349
Q3 0487.3500253.617133.7329296.6115156.1393940.47212
Q4 0482.8586452.1688930.6897590.9199454.0328836.88706
Q1 0583.3937450.7231632.6705891.1858652.2768738.90899
Q2 0596.9301359.7261937.20394106.2634762.0449944.21848
Q3 0595.9210656.9592538.96181106.0256759.7199846.30569
Q4 0584.1543150.9396433.2146791.919352.6193239.29998
Q1 0693.3372955.8967637.44053101.4878757.2863844.20149
Q2 0699.0466158.0252741.02134108.6720660.4181348.25393
Q3 06105.1457862.261142.88468116.842565.2012751.64123
Q4 0689.6044555.0929434.5115198.3344556.7116441.62281
Q1 07100.7235261.7601638.96336111.2211264.2190247.0021
Q2 07107.4821963.1438444.33835120.0864766.6530853.43339
Q3 07107.4703264.2841843.18614119.6962267.6331952.06303
Q4 07104.6128766.6823937.93048114.6957268.9615545.73417
Q1 08113.6478375.7792337.8686124.3767678.7040845.67268
Q2 08130.9754986.6811244.29437144.4700491.0886953.38135
Q3 08163.68585105.5580158.12784180.85214110.8148370.03731
Q4 08173.76436120.0172853.74708189.4049124.5954564.80945
Q1 09229.52822162.5234467.00478247.63071166.655680.97511
Q2 09274.96382193.8240681.13976299.43205201.3678498.06421
Q3 09288.88998197.2502991.63969315.05676204.21909110.83767
Q4 09277.25915195.6091281.65003300.88878202.1521298.73666
Q1 10284.13431201.3425782.79174306.16642206.07367100.09275
Q2 10305.08047207.7575797.3229331.05086213.41913117.63173
Q3 10310.64096209.65475100.98621336.78456214.60134122.18322
Q4 10310.94999211.100799.84929335.69146215.0123120.67916
Q1 11307.64269210.329197.31359331.10817213.35508117.75309
Q2 11317.4071214.07114103.33596342.63084217.69236124.93848
Q3 11328.042454215.710175112.332279356.2121220.44123135.77087
Q4 11314.841314211.958196102.883118340.11129215.80336124.30793
Q1 12322.762173215.465661107.296512347.93515218.3242129.61095
Q2 12324.934144217.623333107.310811352.52883222.88438129.64445
Q3 12326.411316214.817261111.594055354.52879219.78842134.74037
Q4 12296.643694197.92360598.72009319.65867200.46986119.18881
Q1 13294.516157188.782981105.733176317.25293189.559127.69393
Q2 13304.895202192.116599112.778603330.53084194.36667136.16417
Q3 13286.53104181.226083105.304957310.2958183.21425127.08155
Q4 13256.903448160.9074495.996008276.95711161.09221115.8649
Q1 14262.313415165.89749596.41592282.27509165.88372116.39137
Q2 14259.419585164.38254895.037037279.68928165.02555114.66373
Q3 14251.327125153.6732997.653835272.75018154.87639117.87379
Q4 14218.223628138.90807179.315557235.27962139.5086295.771
Q1 15218.167358139.49637578.670983235.21751140.2377494.97977
Q2 15217.773019135.80671181.966308235.70371136.7708298.93289
Q3 15209.275033131.05152878.223505227.00374132.5918794.41187
Q4 15192.563994126.64926865.914725206.71507127.1423279.57275
Q1 16185.892242121.75527564.136967199.26099121.8207777.44022
Q2 16194.983337122.01749372.965844211.29838123.2559988.04239
Q3 16184.487077114.71290669.774171200.96713116.7641884.20295
Q4 16154.10231594.51942559.58289167.531795.6144671.91724
Q1 17151.3212291.58255859.738662163.3013191.1754572.12586
Q2 17147.6196692.9878354.63183160.4370994.5332465.90385
  • Unemployment Rate

The move to the LFS has also resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate. Table 4 below compares the unemployment rate for the previously published QNHS series (revised to take account of the Census of Population 2016) to the new LFS series for Q1 2016 to Q2 2017.  Over this period, the unemployment rate has increased by between 0.4 and 0.5 percentage points and in the latest published quarter, Q2 2017, the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points from 6.5% to 6.9%.

Table 4: Unadjusted unemployment rates - QNHS series (with Census 2016 Revisions) and LFS – Q1 2016 to Q2 2017
 QNHS (with Census 2016 Revisions)LFSDifference
 %%% points
QNHS adjusted for COP 2016LFS
Q1 168.376621328780028.77395378328871
Q2 168.601699961625159.07419972687217
Q3 168.069562781986148.55100521221147
Q4 166.813822970524557.2151184574901
Q1 176.705574241235827.06556306004214
Q2 176.48836514464486.88061000870583

Figure 5 above further highlights the increase in the level of the unemployment rate and again it can be noted that the trend is the same for both series.

  • Labour Force

The Labour Force comprises of those employed and unemployed. Figure 6 below shows that while there is an increase in the level, the trend for the number of males and females in the Labour Force has not changed during the period.


All persons - QNHSMales - QNHS Females - QNHSAll persons - LFSMales - LFSFemales - LFS
Q1 981623.08259981.48688641.595711700.914461020.49539680.41907
Q2 981634.36171989.47317644.888541712.913791029.9457682.96809
Q3 981682.179441014.84819667.331251769.231521060.0456709.18592
Q4 981649.52236998.60743650.914931726.145481039.03921687.10627
Q1 991677.351521005.49405671.857471755.46691046.37862709.08828
Q2 991709.539361023.22478686.314581792.250391066.94684725.30355
Q3 991760.262491049.83558710.426911851.703551097.94097753.76258
Q4 991734.962651035.54773699.414921815.778571078.24357737.535
Q1 001735.830881036.06146699.769421814.684661078.18588736.49878
Q2 001766.179541047.10402719.075521848.65611091.62863757.02747
Q3 001811.813461071.57735740.236111903.417031120.88516782.53187
Q4 001778.561261055.43449723.126771857.67451098.52726759.14724
Q1 011776.351341052.77652723.574821853.365351094.7019758.66345
Q2 011808.043821068.79752739.24631887.606931112.66869774.93824
Q3 011865.315491096.02462769.290871954.708951144.05735810.6516
Q4 011834.946781078.16044756.786341912.911151120.25899792.65216
Q1 021834.917351074.55757760.359781910.962441115.21736795.74508
Q2 021851.280011082.76257768.517441932.127241126.44208805.68516
Q3 021885.007611100.56669784.440921974.74161148.31683826.42477
Q4 021865.683291089.15419776.52911947.583511132.40838815.17513
Q1 031868.078531090.83303777.24551948.903941133.57593815.32801
Q2 031887.540391099.82774787.712651970.699131143.79374826.90539
Q3 031924.717031121.78006802.936972016.771911170.34453846.42738
Q4 031907.331981111.97839795.353591988.881831154.62178834.26005
Q1 041922.709481120.36495802.344532004.167631162.27649841.89114
Q2 041940.989961132.23266808.75732022.921951175.87211847.04984
Q3 041989.810711157.27823832.532482080.787011204.80266875.98435
Q4 041982.617591150.38481832.232782064.724211192.42574872.29847
Q1 052000.561581158.16007842.401512080.922151200.07983880.84232
Q2 052041.534551180.09176861.442792124.350091222.62758901.72251
Q3 052089.912221209.97828879.933942179.464241256.67354922.7907
Q4 052079.424561204.30747875.117092162.006341246.82663915.17971
Q1 062102.81331217.18249885.630812184.55591260.03096924.52494
Q2 062134.103471232.14596901.957512219.130521276.72921942.40131
Q3 062183.508331260.81538922.692952276.458481309.7325966.72598
Q4 062180.828081257.46863923.359452265.925021302.55631963.36871
Q1 072211.354811270.36817940.986642298.151471316.12179982.02968
Q2 072243.59151282.93789960.653612333.516671329.805661003.71101
Q3 072277.072891300.36416976.708732371.944161349.448641022.49552
Q4 072260.567221288.4604972.106822347.609861333.344441014.26542
Q1 082260.009311285.66738974.341932343.884671328.580991015.30368
Q2 082278.321941295.32097983.000972364.585271339.126911025.45836
Q3 082300.130491303.72026996.410232390.684821348.678921042.0059
Q4 082257.224211278.5595978.664712336.026971316.155661019.87131
Q1 092225.916011255.41172970.504292301.77331288.635571013.13773
Q2 092248.947831265.61339983.334442328.763071300.773781027.98929
Q3 092242.440681253.53215988.908532321.817221286.946051034.87117
Q4 092198.69511229.88646968.808642271.291021260.452411010.83861
Q1 102176.016751215.31914960.697612242.161721242.16344999.99828
Q2 102198.720191223.45956975.260632269.054281251.319591017.73469
Q3 102196.700551225.25479971.445762267.383981252.893931014.49005
Q4 102168.237541205.20381963.033732233.346561229.032091004.31447
Q1 112149.448031194.85071954.597322211.461021217.00327994.45775
Q2 112178.68981206.86487971.824932242.693921229.871291012.82263
Q3 112174.277491205.8863968.391192241.413541230.617461010.79608
Q4 112165.445021201.15278964.2922372228.271471224.289131003.98234
Q1 122151.444021189.54467961.8993472211.12591209.107221002.01868
Q2 122167.260331198.08472969.1756162230.367981220.978931009.38905
Q3 122175.520231205.86193969.6582972241.592431230.191951011.40048
Q4 122153.785861190.90875962.877122212.810021211.710061001.09996
Q1 132151.72171186.76918964.9525252209.398121205.644361003.75376
Q2 132193.8181207.1291986.6888982256.726581228.836111027.89047
Q3 132207.055551218.07443988.9811172271.652071241.627411030.02466
Q4 132189.76811208.75698981.011122247.837751229.688241018.14951
Q1 142177.793941202.34152975.4524152232.870821221.372731011.49809
Q2 142193.323461210.68072982.642742249.906271231.451961018.45431
Q3 142218.52691221.21975997.3071542281.694941244.593411037.10153
Q4 142203.468891215.048988.4208912260.369531236.817741023.55179
Q1 152195.339831212.75955982.5802782249.599071233.996311015.60276
Q2 152229.046471228.382971000.663512285.800121250.992211034.80791
Q3 152246.618361240.248111006.370252307.328281265.213891042.11439
Q4 152237.830131230.451271007.378862291.742791252.243311039.49948
Q1 162229.884091223.657881006.226212281.181081245.15771036.02338
Q2 162277.242281246.205391031.03692339.034491272.015551067.01894
Q3 162294.232091258.682491035.54962359.69691287.60551072.0914
Q4 162273.346121242.152261031.193862331.743931267.110191064.63374
Q1 172267.758341234.543541033.214792322.014761256.650891065.36387
Q2 172284.792531246.026551038.765982341.615021270.960421070.6546


The new LFS, which has been introduced in Q3 2017, is the most significant change to Labour Market statistics in Ireland since the introduction of the QNHS in Q4 1997. This modernisation is a critical component of the CSO’s strategy to continue to deliver high quality household statistics for Ireland.

The CSO has worked closely with users to minimise the disruption arising from the new survey and will continue to work closely with users to continue to meet their needs.

  • Jim Dalton    (+353) 21 453 5623

  • Martina O'Callaghan    (+353) 21 453 5491

  • Email:

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