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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Labour Force Survey

Quarter 4 2018

IndicatorQuarter 4 2018Annual change
Employed2,281,300 +50,500
In labour force2,410,100 +35,300
Not in labour force1,467,000 +23,600

Employment increases by 2.3% in year to Q4 2018

Figure 1 Numbers in employment in the fourth quarters 2014 to 2018
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There was an annual increase in employment of 2.3% or 50,500 in the year to the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing total employment to 2,281,300. This compares with an annual increase of 3.0% or 66,700 in employment in the previous quarter and an increase of 3.1% or 67,300 in the year to Q4 2017.

Summary points for Q4 2018

  • The increase in total employment of 50,500 in the year to Q4 2018 was represented by an increase in full-time employment of 48,200 (+2.7%) and an increase in part-time employment of 2,300 (+0.5%). See table 1 and figure 1.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 8,300 (+0.4%) over the previous quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted increase in employment of 9,500 (+0.4%) in Q3 2018, an increase of 14,700 (+0.7%) in Q2 2018, an increase of 17,400 (+0.8%) in Q1 2018 and an increase of 26,000 (+1.2%) in Q4 2017. See table 3.
  •  Unemployment decreased by 15,200 (-10.5%) in the year to Q4 2018 bringing the total number of persons unemployed to 128,800. This is the twenty sixth quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis. See table 1.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.7% over the quarter to Q4 2018, while the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed increased slightly to 135,900. See table 3.
  • The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 2.5% to 2.1% over the year to Q4 2018. Long-term unemployment accounted for 38.9% of total unemployment in Q4 2018. See table 6.
  • The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 2,410,100, representing an increase of 35,300 (+1.5%) over the year.  This compares with an annual labour force increase of 43,700 (+1.9%) in Q4 2017.  The number of persons not in the labour force in Q4 2018 was 1,467,000, an increase of 23,600 (+1.6%) over the year. See table 1.

Users should note that effective from Q3 2017, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS). The results presented since then incorporate adjustments to the historic QNHS data series to take account of revisions to population estimates arising from the 2016 Census of Population. In addition, adjustments were made to the historic data to enable comparability with the new LFS for headline indicators.

However, as a result of changes to the questionnaire, the interview mode, the introduction of a new sample, data processing changes and other methodological enhancements there are changes in the levels of some series from Q3 2017 onwards. As a consequence, the series before and after the introduction of the new survey may not be directly comparable and users should therefore note this when examining annual and quarterly changes.

Further information is available in the background notes and information notes accompanying recent LFS releases on the change from the QNHS to the LFS, revisions to population estimates, enhancements to the survey methodology now used, headline indicators and other series which have been adjusted along with details of changes to the NUTS regional groupings which were introduced in Q1 2018.