Irish workforce increases by 85,000 in six years

The number of people at work has increased by 85,000 since 2010. Half of that increase has occurred in the last year.

There were 1,976,500 people at work in the first quarter of 2016, 46,900 more than the corresponding period in 2015, says the Central Statistics Office.

The figure is 84,600 more than the 1,891,900 who had jobs in the first quarter of 2010.

The CSO said that the numbers employed in the first quarter decreased on an annual basis each year from Q1, 2010 to Q1, 2012, before increasing by 20,500 in the year to Q1, 2013, to 1,845,600.

“Annual increases in employment were also recorded in the year to Q1, 2014 (+42,700) and in the year to Q1 2015 (+41,300),” it said.

Of the numbers of people in employment in the first three months of this year, 456,200, or 23.1%, were in part-time work.

141,400 of those — or almost one-in-three — said they were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job.

The number of people in part-time work has declined since 2010 (425,100), but, as a percentage of the total workforce, it has increased from 22.5% to 23.1%.

The number of temporary employees decreased by 8,300 (-6.2%) in the year to Q1, 2016, bringing the total number of temporary employees to 126,400.

The number of temporary employees, as a percentage of total employees (1,636,400), stood at 7.7% in Q1, 2016.

The comparable figure in Q1, 2010 was 8.9% (139,600) of total employees (1,569,200).

Again, inability to find a permanent job was one of the main reasons given for people being in temporary employment. 64,000 said that was the reason.

The total number of people classified as self-employed was 325,500 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 5.5% from the 308,500 in Q1, 2010. The number of employees increased from 1,569,200 to 1,636,400 (+67,200 during that period.

Of the total workforce, 1,625,500 people were in their current jobs for one year or more, as of the first three months of the year — of those, 1,289,000 were in their current roles for four years or more.

Medium and large firms — those employing 50 or more staff — accounted for 655,100 of the country’s workers in the first three months of this year.

Smaller firms, those with fewer than 50 staff, employed 838,600 workers over the same period. The CSO said there was no information available for the remaining 250,000 workers.

The CSO also found that the average, usual hours worked per week in Q1, 2016, was 35.8. Of the 14 economic sectors, “agriculture, forestry and fishing” had the highest average usual-hours-worked-per-week, at 49.1, with the education sector having the lowest, at 29.4, hours worked per week in the same period.

Average usual-hours-worked-per-week, classified by occupational group, showed that managers, directors, and senior officials had the highest usual-hours-worked-per-week, at 43. Sales and customer-service staff had the lowest average-hours-worked-per week, at 29.9 in the same period.


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