Back to Top

 Skip navigation

CSO statistical release, , 11am

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Quarter 2 2020

IndicatorStandard LFS Methodology (ILO) Q2 2020COVID-19 Adjusted Estimates June 2020 (end of Q2 2020)
Employed persons aged 15 years and over2,222,5001,783,567
Employment rate for those aged 15-64 years65.7%52.2%
Unemployed persons aged 15-74 years118,700531,412
Unemployment rate for those aged 15-74 years5.1%23.1%
In labour force2,341,200-
Not in labour force1,632,600-

COVID-19 continues to impact the labour market in Q2 2020

Figure 1 Numbers in employment (ILO) in the second quarters 2016 to 2020
go to full release

The LFS is the official source of labour market statistics for Ireland including the official rates of employment and unemployment. These official measures are based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concepts and definitions. The ILO measures are the international standard and all EU Member States are legally obliged to compile and provide this data to Eurostat on a quarterly basis through the LFS. These ILO criteria are one reason why the LFS may not fully capture the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. Please see the Information Note - Labour Force Survey (LFS) Quarter 2 2020 which was published yesterday for more information.

As the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is obliged to follow standard definitions and methodology when calculating official estimates from the LFS, it has been decided to compile the Quarter 2 2020 LFS estimates in the usual way and provide separate COVID-19 adjusted estimates. This approach preserves the methodology of the LFS while at the same time providing transparency around the impact of COVID-19 on the Labour Market within Ireland.

Since March 2020, the CSO has been producing a supplementary measure of monthly unemployment in parallel with the routine Monthly Unemployment Estimates, which incorporates those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payments into the calculation to produce a COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Monthly Unemployment. This new measure was most recently published as part of the Monthly Unemployment Estimates release for July 2020 and will continue to be made available for as long as deemed necessary by the CSO.

As part of the process to generate estimates for the LFS for Q1 2020, the CSO also made a COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment available. These estimates have been updated as part of the preparations for publishing this Q2 2020 LFS release today. The estimate for the end of Q2 2020 is calculated by subtracting those who were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment at the end of June 2020 from the numbers in employment during Q2 2020. A corresponding estimate has also been produced for the end of July 2020.

In the same way that the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment can be considered an upper bound for unemployment the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment can be considered as the lower bound for employment. The reality is that there is not enough information currently available for those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment at an individual level to know what the labour market status of those individuals are.

The COVID-19 Adjusted Measures of Employment and Unemployment are subject to change when more information becomes available that allows a better estimate of the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market in Ireland to be constructed. The CSO have access to data for those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and those who are benefitting from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and are continuing to investigate more targeted COVID-19 Adjusted Measures by matching these and other data sources to the LFS. 

Alongside this LFS release today, the Labour Market analysis area of the CSO are also publishing the first in a series of high-level insight bulletins investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. These new outputs are designed to provide additional insight into the effect of COVID-19 on the labour market in Ireland by providing high-level supplementary analysis to users alongside the current outputs and metrics. The data is sourced from the LFS, administrative datasets and linkage of these sources. The insight bulletin being published today is specifically designed to give some context to the standard LFS results for Q2 2020 and is available here: Labour Market Insight Series. Further iterations of this new output are likely to provide extra detail and focus on specific aspects of the labour market.

Summary points for Q2 2020

  • Using the standard International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15 years and over in employment stood at 2,222,500 in Q2 2020 with an associated Employment Rate of 65.7% for those aged 15-64 years.
  • At the end of June 2020, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment, or lower bound of the number of persons aged 15 years and over in employment, is estimated to have been 1,783,567 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate of 52.2% for those aged 15-64 years.
  • By the end of July 2020, this new COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Employment is currently estimated to have been 1,947,922 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate of 57.2%.
  • Using the standard ILO criteria, the unadjusted number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed in Q2 2020 stood at 118,700 with an associated Unemployment Rate of 5.1% for those aged 15-74 years.
  • At the end of June 2020, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment, or the upper bound of the number of persons aged 15-74 years who were unemployed, was 531,412 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Rate of 23.1% for those aged 15-74 years.
  • By the end of July 2020, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment is currently estimated to have been 386,935 with an associated COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Rate of 16.7%.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Q3 2017. The LFS release for Q3 2017 also incorporated revisions to population estimates based on the 2016 Census of Population.  Adjustments were made to the historic data in Q3 2017 and Q1 2018 to allow comparability with the new LFS for a range of indicators. For other indicators, the series before and after Q3 2017 may not be directly comparable and users should remember this when examining all changes, both quarterly and annual.

Further information is available in the background notes and in the information notes which accompanied the Q3 2017 and Q1 2018 LFS releases.

See: Information Note Q1 2018 and Information Note Q3 2017

 

For more information contact Jim Dalton at 087-678 0316 or Martina O’Callaghan at 021-453 5491