Minister Coveney and Minister McGrath welcome latest figures showing further employment growth in fourth quarter of 2022

Minister Coveney and Minister McGrath welcome latest figures showing further employment growth in fourth quarter of 2022

Thursday, 23 February 2023

The Q4 2022 Labour Force Survey and latest Monthly Unemployment Release show:

  • Employment continues to grow. 68,500 jobs were created in the year to Q4 2022
  • Total employment stands at 2.57 million, in excess of the 2.5 million target set in the Economic Recovery Plan for 2024
  • Regions have driven this jobs growth- Employment outside of Dublin increased by 61,500 in the year to Q4 2022 (+ 3.5 percent)
  • Full time employment up 65,200 (+3.3 percent) year on year in the fourth quarter

Labour Force Survey (LFS) results published today by the Central Statistics Office show continued growth in Ireland’s labour market, with 68,500 jobs created in the year to Q4 2022. Employment now stands at 2.57 million, an increase of approximately 2.7 percent over Q4 2021.

This is reflective of the success of the Government’s focus on driving a labour market recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as set out in the Economic Recovery Plan. This commitment to continued employment growth has been renewed in the Government’s new White Paper on Enterprise, published in December, which sets out the strategic direction for job creation in the years ahead.

Commenting on the figures, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, said:

 “More people are employed in Ireland now than ever before. The unemployment rate in January also stands at 4.4 percent. That is incredible given where we were a couple of years ago, with the pandemic and Brexit, and the current challenges we are facing with Putin’s war and inflation. It is a testament to the hard work and remarkable resilience of Irish enterprise.

 “I know these results don’t tell the lived experience for all businesses and workers. Some businesses are still struggling, especially with increased costs, and we will continue to help through our support schemes. Staff and their families will also be affected by the recent announcements of down-sizing in certain tech companies with a presence in Ireland. We will assist any employees affected as they seek alternative employment or other opportunities.

 “No company, however, has given any indication that it is considering closing its Irish base. As a country we are close to full employment, with high demand for tech, marketing and other skills across all sectors. There is a strong pipeline of new investments from overseas and within Ireland in a range of sectors including tech and other sectors, and we expect many positive announcements in the coming months. The economy is well diversified, with hundreds of thousands of people employed by indigenous SMEs, pharmaceuticals, agri-food, med-tech, and financial services.

 “At Government level we are focussed on competitiveness and ensuring that Ireland is the best place in Europe in which to invest and grow for the future. We are acting on energy, skills, housing, access to water services, and planning. We have never taken our economic prosperity for granted.

“This is reflected in the recently published White Paper on Enterprise, which takes account of the effects of the pandemic, changes in the international trading environment, vulnerabilities in our enterprise base, and the need to integrate climate change commitments and the digital transition into enterprise policy over the decade ahead.

“My Department will lead on the development of consecutive two year Implementation Plans of cross government activity to implement the White Paper’s commitments, focussing on delivery of key initiatives to ensure the continued resilience of our enterprise base and labour market.”

 The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, said:

“The labour market continued to demonstrate significant resilience in the final quarter of last year despite multiple economic headwinds. The level of employment has reached a new record high of 2.57 million; and unemployment remains near historic lows.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the pandemic hit our shores, there almost 220,000 more people at work, an increase of just under 10 per cent. This is a significant achievement given the unprecedented economic challenges in the intervening period, and is a testament to the impact of Government policy to support households and firms during the pandemic and the energy crisis.

Encouragingly, significant progress has been retained in terms of participation – with participation by female and youth workers almost 3 and 5 percentage points ahead of pre-pandemic levels. In practice, this ‘participation effect’ means that almost 70,000 additional women, and 10,000 additional youth workers have been able to avail of opportunities to participate in Ireland’s economic recovery.

The ICT sector returned to growth following a correction in the third quarter. Although challenges remain and some of the impacts of recent announcements are yet to be realised, the sector has undergone historic growth and employment remains at almost record levels.

It is particularly promising that the geographic pattern of employment growth has been so positive in terms of more balanced regional development, with employment growth in the regions almost 25 percent higher than in Dublin and its surrounding counties in the three years to Q4 2022.  

Looking ahead, despite challenges that are likely to persist through the first half of this year, the labour market is likely to remain very tight. The Government will continue to be vigilant of the risk of self-reinforcing wage-price dynamics that could affect competitiveness and impact our economy.”

Read more about these results from the CSO: Labour Force Survey Quarter 4 2022 – Central Statistics Office