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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Labour Force Survey

Quarter 1 2018

IndicatorQuarter 1 2018Annual change
Employed2,220,500 +62,100
In labour force2,353,400 +31,700
Not in labour force1,470,500 +16,400

Employment increases by 2.9% in year to Q1 2018

Figure 1 Numbers in employment(ILO) in the first quarters 2014 to 2018
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There was an annual increase in employment of 2.9% or 62,100 in the year to the first quarter of 2018, bringing total employment to 2,220,500. This compares with an annual increase of 3.1% or 67,300 in employment in the previous quarter and an increase of 3.7% or 77,500 in the year to Q1 2017.

Summary points for Q1 2018

  • The increase in total employment of 62,100 in the year to Q1 2018 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 72,000 (+4.3%) and a decrease in part-time employment of 9,900 (-2.1%). See table 1 and figure 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 15,700 (+0.7%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 25,800 (+1.2%) in Q4 2017, an increase of 14,800 (+0.7%) in Q3 2017, an increase of 5,300 (+0.2%) in Q2 2017 and an increase of 20,300 (+0.9%) in Q1 2017. See table 3.
  •  Unemployment decreased by 30,500 (-18.6%) in the year to Q1 2018 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 132,900. This is the twenty third quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis. See table 1.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.8% for Q1 2018 and the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed decreased by 12,900 to 137,300. See table 3.
  • The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 3.7% to 2.1% over the year to Q1 2018. Long-term unemployment accounted for 37.7% of total unemployment in Q1 2018. See table 6.
  • The total number of persons in the labour force in the first quarter of 2018 was 2,353,400, representing an increase of 31,700 (+1.4%) over the year.  This compares with an annual labour force increase of 41,600 (+1.8%) in Q1 2017.  The number of persons not in the labour force in Q1 2018 was 1,470,500, an increase of 16,400 (+1.1%) over the year. See table 1.

Users should note that effective from Q3 2017, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS). The results presented in this report incorporate adjustments to the historic QNHS data series to take account of revisions to population estimates arising from the 2016 Census of Population. In addition, adjustments have been made to this historic data to enable comparability with the new LFS for headline indicators. Users should also note that additional adjustments have been made to the historic occupation, region and education series to also enable comparability with the new LFS for these indicators.  

However, as a result of changes to the questionnaire, the interview mode, the introduction of a new sample, data processing changes and other methodological enhancements there are changes in the levels of some series from Q3 2017 onwards. As a consequence, the series before and after the introduction of the new survey may not be directly comparable and users should therefore note this when examining annual and quarterly changes.

Further information is available in the background notes and information note accompanying this release on the change from the QNHS to the LFS, revisions to population estimates, enhancements to the survey methodology now used in the LFS, headline indicators which have been adjusted, additional series which have now been adjusted from Q1 2018 along with details of changes to the NUTS regional groupings.