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Number of employed people rose by 3.5% last year – CSO

The number of people in employment rose by 3.5% in the year to December, according to the latest figures in the Labour Force Survey from the Central Statistics Office.

The Labour Force Survey is the official source of data for employment and unemployment in Ireland.

A total of 2,361,200 people were in employment at the end of last year, up 79,900 on the previous year. 

Unemployment fell by 14.2% or 18,300 to 110,600 over the same period – the 30th quarter in a row where joblessness has declined on an annual basis.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5% in the third quarter of last year to 4.7% in the fourth quarter, the CSO figures also showed.

The total number of people in the labour force in the fourth quarter of last year increased by 2.6% to 2,471,700 from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Employment growth was also recorded in all of the country’s eight regions.

The jobless rate stood at 4.8% at the end of January, recent CSO figures show.

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said the employment gains came despite a challenging year due to Brexit uncertainty and a slowdown in international markets.

“Total employment in 2019 rose by 65,000, a 2.9% increase on 2018, a growth rate seen for three straight years. The level of employment grew by 1,250 per week last year,” the Minister noted. 

He also said that the number of people at work reached another all-time high, with 2,350,600 people in employment in the fourth quarter last year.

“Ireland has faced and continues to face a highly uncertain macroeconomic situation with clear risks to our future economic growth, not least due to ongoing uncertainty associated with the future trading relationship with the UK,” Mr Donohoe said. 

“However we will face these challenges from a position of strength,” he added.

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