The rate of unemployment measures the percentage of people who are not in work, but who are available for and actively seeking work.

It is generally accepted that zero unemployment is unlikely, even when an economy is operating at full capacity. This is due to various factors such as availability of job information, skills and education and the degree of labour mobility. For this reason, a full rate of employment is generally considered to exist when unemployment is around 4% in an economy.

Short-term Trends


Unemployment Rate %
CSO – Labour Force Survey

Long Term Trends

The Irish economy continues to perform well and this is reflected in the employment numbers. As of the end of last quarter of 2018, there were 2,281,300 people employed in the Irish economy, highest level ever recorded. Employment increased in 10 of the 14 economic sectors in 2018. The largest rates of increase were recorded in the Administration and support service activities (+12.6% or +11,900) and the Construction (+7.9% or 10,600) sectors.


Source: Eurostat