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Monthly Unemployment

October 2015

 Seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (%)
October 2014227,900 10.6
September 2015204,900 9.4
October 2015203,000 9.3
   Percentage Points
Change in month- 1,900 - 0.1
Change in year- 24,900 - 1.3

Monthly unemployment rate of 9.3% in October 2015

Figure 1 Monthly unemployment rate seasonally adjusted
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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2015 was 9.3%, down from the September 2015 rate of 9.4% and down from 10.6% in October 2014. The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 203,000 in October 2015, a decrease of 1,900 when compared to the September 2015 figure or a decrease of 24,900 when compared to October 2014.

Summary points for October

  • In October 2015 the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.3% for males, down from 10.5% in September 2015 and down from 12.1% in October 2014.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in October 2015 was 8.1%, unchanged from September 2015 and down from 8.8% in October 2014.
  • The seasonally adjusted number of males unemployed in October 2015 was 123,300. This is a decrease of 2,100 when compared to the September 2015 figure of 125,400. In October 2015 the seasonally adjusted number of females unemployed was 79,800, an increase of 300 from September 2015.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 years (youth unemployment rate) was 19.7% in October 2015. This is down from 20.4% in September 2015.


The data in this release are subject to revision, caused by updates to the seasonally adjusted series whenever new monthly data are added. In addition it should be noted that larger revisions can occur when the most recent Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) data are included in the calculation process. Revised figures will be produced upon the publication of each new set of benckmark figures from the QNHS and these revisions will be included in the QNHS release.


Table 1a Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - All persons aged 15-74 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013October167,10099,300266,400 14.010.312.3
 November163,500100,000263,500 13.710.312.2
 December163,40099,700263,100 13.710.312.2
2014January164,50098,800263,300 13.810.212.2
 February164,60097,000261,600 13.810.112.2
 March163,20095,900259,100 13.89.912.1
 April160,80092,300253,000 13.69.611.8
 May158,20091,300249,500 13.49.511.6
 June154,30090,300244,600 13.09.411.4
 July150,70090,800241,500 12.79.411.2
 August147,80090,300238,100 12.59.411.1
 October142,70085,300227,900 12.18.810.6
 November140,30081,800222,100 11.98.510.4
 December139,70080,100219,900 11.88.310.3
2015January138,80079,300218,200 11.78.310.2
Table 1b Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 15-24 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013October30,70023,20053,900 27.824.026.0
 December29,50022,80052,400 27.324.325.9
2014January30,30022,30052,700 28.123.826.1
 February30,60021,70052,300 28.423.626.2
 March29,90021,60051,500 28.223.526.0
 April28,70021,20049,800 27.323.425.5
 May27,90020,50048,500 26.822.824.9
 June27,10019,80046,900 26.221.824.1
 July26,80018,90045,700 26.020.523.4
 August26,80018,00044,700 26.019.623.0
 September26,40017,20043,600 25.618.822.4
 October26,50016,30042,800 25.618.022.1
 November26,50015,30041,800 25.517.321.7
 December26,70015,40042,100 25.517.521.9
2015January27,00016,00043,000 25.618.522.4
 February26,40015,90042,300 25.118.922.3
 March25,30015,50040,900 24.318.121.5
 April24,10015,10039,200 23.417.320.6
 May23,20015,20038,400 22.817.420.3
 June22,80015,40038,200 22.818.120.7
 July22,60016,10038,700 22.718.420.7
 August22,60016,10038,700 22.618.420.7
 September22,40015,80038,300 22.518.120.4
 October21,80014,90036,800 21.917.219.7
Table 1c Seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment by sex - persons aged 25-74 years
   Number of persons Unemployment rate (%)
   MalesFemalesAll Persons MalesFemalesAll Persons
2013October136,40076,100212,500 12.68.710.9
 November134,10077,200211,200 12.48.910.8
 December133,80076,900210,700 12.38.810.8
2014January134,20076,400210,600 12.48.810.8
 February134,00075,200209,200 12.48.610.7
 March133,30074,300207,600 12.38.510.6

Background Notes


The purpose of this release is to provide a detailed series of monthly unemployment estimates. The release contains both monthly unemployment rates and monthly unemployment volumes. These outputs now replace the seasonally adjusted Standardised Unemployment Rate (SUR) as the definitive measure of monthly unemployment.

Calculation of Monthly Estimates:

The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) provides benchmark estimates of employment and unemployment for each quarter since the beginning of 1998. These quarterly benchmark estimates are then used to compile monthly data using the Proportional Denton method. The main characteristic of this method is that the monthly Live Register series is used as an indicator to disaggregate the quarterly QNHS unemployment series into a monthly series in such a way as to minimise the differences between two consecutive months. It also ensures that the average of three months in a particular calendar quarter is equal to the corresponding QNHS estimate.

For months where the quarterly unemployment data is not yet available, the ratio of the QNHS monthly estimate to the Live Register monthly estimate (i.e. the benchmark to indicator ratio) is forecast forward in order to extrapolate a monthly QNHS estimate. The monthly series is revised each quarter when the latest quarterly data becomes available. This approach adheres to agreed international practice.

Seasonal Adjustment:

To correct for typical seasonal patterns, the data series included have been concurrently seasonally adjusted. This seasonal adjustment is completed by applying the X-12-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau In the case of these monthly unemployment estimates, seasonal adjustment is conducted using the indirect approach, where each individual series is independently adjusted.  To preserve consistency between the individual and aggregate series, the series for gender, age group and total monthly unemployed are then created from these component series. The series for monthly unemployment rates are likewise created from these component series.

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)

The One-Parent Family Payment is a social welfare payment for men and women who are younger than 66 and bring up children without the support of a partner and meet certain other criteria. Claimants on this scheme are not counted as part of the Live Register.

From July 2013 new rules came into operation reducing the age limits for the One-Parent Family Payment. This means that some people no longer qualify for the payment and may avail of other schemes or supports.

As a consequence, approximately 2,800 people in July 2015 previously receiving the One-Parent Family Payment, made a claim for Jobseekers Allowance (JA) and are therefore included in the Live Register figures which are used to extrapolate a monthly QNHS estimate as the quarterly unemployment data is not yet available. It can be noted that the inclusion of these additional persons in July 2015 has a marginal impact on the production of the estimated monthly unemployment volume and rate.

Additional Background Information:

Further information regarding the QNHS and Live Register series are available from each respective release.

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