During the first quarter of 2017, Labour Force Survey estimates indicate an increase of 2.7 per cent in employment when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016. Labour Force Survey estimates indicate that, during the first quarter, total employment stood at 192,277 accounting to more than half the population aged 15 and over. Unemployed persons stood at 8,359 or 2.3% while inactive persons totalled 166,385 – 45.3%. The activity rate for the quarter under review was estimated at 68.7% with the highest rate recorded among persons aged 25-54 or 82.6%.
On average, out of every 100 persons aged between 15 to 64 years, 66 were employed. The male employment rate for this age bracket was 77.9% while that for females stood at 53.0 %. Self-employed persons accounted for 13.3% of all persons with a main job. The majority of employed persons worked on a fulltime basis totalling 164,727 and 27,550 had a part-time job as their primary employment. Results show that, on average, full-timers work 41.3 hours while part-timers work 23.5 hours per week. The average annual basic salary of employees (refer to methodological note 3) for the first quarter of 2017 was estimated at €18,029.The highest basic salary was recorded in the Financial and Insurance Service sector. Average annual salaries varied from €30,299 among managers to €11,771 among persons employed in elementary occupations.
The Unemployed and Inactive Population
The unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2017, stood at 4.2% per cent. The largest share of unemployed persons was recorded among persons aged 25 to 74 years. Among the unemployed, 51.7% stated that they had been seeking work for less than 12 months. The main reason for inactivity relates to persons reaching retirement age or taking up early retirement 42.3%
According to the Labour Force Survey 56.7% of the 15 plus population have attained a low level of education. This comprises persons with less than 5 ordinary level or equivalent qualifications. Among the employed population 26.0% have a tertiary level education.