Business Irish

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Pace of employment growth speeding up, jobless numbers fall below 8pc for first time since crisis - CSO

The jobless rate is set to drop to 8.8pc
The jobless rate is set to drop to 8.8pc

Donal O’Donovan

The number of people at work in Ireland rose 15,400 in the first three months of the year, to take the total number in employment to just under two million.

Labour market data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show an annual increase in employment of 2.4pc or 46,900 in the year to the end of March.

The rate has fallen below 8pc for the first time since the financial crisis, revised figures show.

The total number of people who have a job is now 1,976,500. The figures show the pace of employment growth accelerated in early 2016 compared to the end of the previous year.

Merrion Stockbrokers economist Alan McQuaid said the annual increase was driven by a jump of 30,700 in full-time employment and a 16,300 rise in the number of part time jobs.

The net increase in jobs this year is now expected to be 44,000.

“Consecutive gains in employment have been posted in the past three years and the Department of Finance is projecting that Ireland will pass the two million people in employment mark in 2016 and replace all of the jobs lost during the downturn by 2018. All in all, it is hard to disagree with this assumption,” said Merrion chief economist Alan McQuaid.

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