Number of people in employment rose by 2.3% in 2018

The number of people in employment grew by 2.3% last year, new figures show.

50,500 people joined the workforce in 2018, according to the Central Statistics Office's (CSO) Labour Force Survey for the year to the fourth quarter.

The total number of people in employment now stands at 2,281,300.

The sectors seeing the biggest increases were administration and support service activities (12.6%) and the construction industry (7.9%).

However, the rate of people joining the workforce was down on the previous year, with 2017 seeing a 3.1% increase.

The number of self-employed workers also fell in 2018 by a rate of 3.7%, which represents 12,100 people.

Unemployment decreased by 10.5% in the year to Q4 2018, with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 5.7% between the third and fourth quarters.

Commenting on the report, statistician Jim Dalton said: “The (Labour Force Survey) LFS is the official source of data for employment and unemployment in Ireland.

"Key findings show that in Q4 2018, employment totalled 2,281,300, up 2.3% or 50,500 from the same quarter in 2017. When adjusted for seasonal factors, employment increased by 0.4% or 8,300 from Q3 2018.

There were 128,800 people unemployed in Q4 2018, and this was down 10.5% or 15,200 from Q4 2017. When seasonally adjusted, the unemployment rate remained at 5.7% over the quarter, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed increased very slightly to 135,900.

"Long term unemployment, which refers to those persons unemployed for one year or more, accounted for 38.9% of total unemployment in Q4 2018.

"In Q4 2018, the total number of persons in the labour force was up 1.5% or 35,300 to 2,410,100 from Q4 2017. The number of persons not in the labour force was 1,467,000 and that was up 1.6% or 23,600 from a year earlier," he said.

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