During the fourth quarter of 2015, Labour Force Survey estimates indicate an increase of 3.0 per cent in employment when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014. During the fourth quarter of 2015 , total employment stood at 186,897 accounting to more than half the population aged 15 and over. Unemployed persons stood at 10,285 (2.8 per cent) while inactive persons amounted to 164,916 (45.6 per cent). The activity rate for the quarter under review was estimated at 67.5 per cent with the highest rate recorded among persons aged 25-54 (80.9 per cent). When compared to the previous year, the total activity rate increased by 1.8 percentage points.
On average, out of every 100 persons between 15 to 64 years, 64 were employed. The highest employment rate was recorded among persons aged between 25 and 54 and stood at 77.4 per cent. The male employment rate for this age bracket was 92.2 per cent while that for females stood at 61.7 per cent.
Self-employed persons accounted for 14.1 per cent of the total employed population. Among the employed, the majority worked on a full-time basis and totalled 158,176.
An estimated 23,463 (12.6 per cent) had a part-time job as their primary employment. A further 5,258 were working on a full-time with reduced hours basis. The average annual basic salary of employees for the fourth quarter of 2015 was estimated at €16,882. This amount refers to the annual basic salary and excludes extra payments such as overtime, bonuses and allowances, as explained in the methodological notes.