Jobs growth in the Irish economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter of 2015 with just under 5,000 jobs added in the period. The CSO reported today that there was an annual increase in employment of 2.3% or 44,100 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing total employment to 1,983,000. On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 4,700 (+0.2%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 9,600 (+0.5%) in Q3 2015.


The CSO's Quarterly National Household Survey shows that total employment is still 9% below the peak reached at the start of 2008.

Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody, commented today:

A total of 44,100 net new jobs were created in 2015. Despite this growth, significant slack remains in the Irish labour market; total employment is still 9% below the peak reached at the start of 2008, while the employment/population ratio stands at 63.9%, a full ten percentage points below the UK (74.1%). Some wage pressures are starting to emerge, but this is specific to some highly skilled segments of the market, where supply is especially tight. Our expectation is for similar trends to continue in 2016.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, employment grew by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, following a 0.5% increase in Q3. On an annual basis, employment grew by 2.3%, down from the 2.9% growth seen in Q3. Relative to the estimated 7% GDP growth outturn, the 2.6% average employment growth achieved in 2015 appears rather underwhelming, despite it being the fastest since 2007. O'Leary says that the true growth in the Irish economy probably lies somewhere in between.

Construction remains the fastest-growing sector of employment (+8.5% yoy), but still remains 54% below the peak levels reached in 2006. Accommodation and food service (+4%) jobs continue to benefit from the consumer spending rebound.

Jobs in Industry fell by 6,000 in the quarter.

Dublin continues to lead the way: In the twelve months to Q4 2015, Dublin accounted for over half (52%) of the employment gains despite accounting for 31% of the total employment in the State. Employment grew by 3.9% yoy in Dublin in Q4, relative to 1.6% growth outside the capital. While it is true to say that Dublin continues to lead the recovery in Ireland, it is also important to recognise that the recovery is being felt outside the capital.

The increase in total employment of 44,100 in the year to Q4 2015 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 38,900 (+2.6%) and an increase in part-time employment of 5,200 (+1.2%).

There were 104,000 part-time workers at the end of December who were seeking full-time work.

The headline unemployment rate was raised to 8.7% form the initial estimate of 8.6%.

406,000 dole claimants in 2016, broad Irish jobless rate at 18%

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Irish employment 2015