Belfast Telegraph

Employment momentum grows with 45,000 more in work

The Central Statistics Office statistics also show the Irish population is closing in on the five million mark.

The latest figures show both employment and population is up (PA)
The latest figures show both employment and population is up (PA)

By Cate McCurry, PA

Ireland’s employment rate grew by 45,000 in the first six months of the year, new figures show.

The Central Statistics Office statistics show further growth in Ireland’s labour market, with a year-on-year rise in employment of 2%.

Labour Force Survey (LFS) data shows that a record 2.3 million people are in work.

Unemployment also fell in the second quarter to 5.2%, down by 20,900 people compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the latest population statistic estimates that there are 4.9 million people in Ireland, an increase of 64,500 over the year.

The report also shows that of the 88,600 people who migrated to Ireland, 26,900 were returning Irish. Some 54,900 people were recorded as emigrating to other countries.

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe said the employment figures “are in line with” the government’s predictions.

“It’s a really important development particularly as our economy approaches the challenges that Brexit may bring,” he said.

“We have more people working in Ireland than we’ve ever had before.

“We now have 2.3 million people working in our economy and the analysis from the CSO points out that this employment growth is taking place across many different parts of our economy.

“The figures also make the point that if you look at where we are on the second quarter of this year cumulatively we now see that over 45,000 more people have worked in our economy than we had at this point a year ago.

“As we look at where we started in the first half of the year, we see an economy, that from an employment point of view, is performing very well.

“Those employment forecasts are in line with the forecast that I published in the
summer economic statement and also in the stability program updates.”

Turning to Brexit, the finance minister said there are growing concerns in consumer sentiment.

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Finance minister Paschal Donohoe said the employment figures ‘are in line with’ the government’s predictions (PA)

He added: “My message to those who are concerned is that we have an economy that is more resilient and diversified.

“We are capable of responding to the challenges that Brexit may bring while acknowledging that those challenges from an economic point of view would be significant.”

The report also shows that employment increased annually in six of eight regions and 11 of 14 sectors measured by the CSO.

The largest sectoral employment increases in the second quarter were in transportation and storage, and education.

Heather Humphreys, minister for business, enterprise and innovation, said the figures marks the 28th quarter where the State has seen an annual decline in unemployment.

“We are continuing the strong momentum in economic growth seen in recent years,” she added.

“Overall, since 2012, we have seen the creation of over 420,000 jobs, a reflection of the success of the Action Plans for Jobs.

“We are now working to consolidate these positive trends through Future Jobs Ireland, our whole-of-Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future.”

PA

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