Irish Unemployment rate falls to 5.4%

The country is nearing full employment as the CSO reports that the rate of employment in Ireland fell to 5.4% in September. This is a substantial drop when one considers that the employment rate in September 2017 stood at 6.6%.

According to the CSO, the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 129,400 in September 2018. This represents a decrease of 26,800 persons on the live register since September 2017. Female unemployment now stands at 5.11% down from 6.3% in September 2017. For males, the rate was 5.7%, down from 6.9% in September 2017.

However, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high at 12.9%, despite being a percentage point down from the same time last year. Many economists define full employment as a situation which occurs where those willing to work at a “going wage rate are able to get a job”. This is based on the premise that to be classified as unemployed, you are actively seeking work. Internationally, an unemployment rate of 3% or less would be considered full employment.

The current unemployment rate is the lowest employment rate recorded since 2008. In November of 2000, the Irish unemployment rate hit a historic low of 3.9%, which, I recall was referred to at the time as reaching full employment (I am showing my age). The highest unemployment rate recorded in Ireland was in December of 1985, when unemployment reached 17.3%. In early 2012 at the height of the recession, the jobless rate in Ireland hit a high of 16%. Since 2012 the performance of the Irish economy is to put it mildly is “phenomenal” as to is facilitate a fall of 11.6% in unemployment is quite outstanding.

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