ALMOST 50,000 MORE people are in full-time employment than were this time last year according to the Central Statistics Office.
The Quarterly National Household Survey for the first quarter of this year shows that there was increase of 46,400 people working full-time compared to 2013. There was however a small drop in part-time employment.
The biggest single sectoral increase came in the area of agriculture where there are now 14,400 more employed in that area than last year.
Nine of the 14 sectors of the economy measured saw an increase in employment over the course of the last year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 12.2 per cent to 12.0 per cent over the quarter after the number of those unemployed was down by 4,500.
Long-term unemployment was also down, with those out of work for over a year decreasing from 8.4 per cent to 7.3 per cent in the year to March.
Unemployment among men decreased by 12.5 per cent over the year and 10 per cent among women, suggesting the rapid decline in construction job losses has been slowed.
Philip O’Sullivan of Investec suggests that the increase in those employed in the agricultural sector may in fact be greater than the figure suggests:
The CSO itself notes that “particular caution is warranted” in the interpretation of the trend in the ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ sector due to sample changes, so the headline figures may understate the current rate of growth in total employment having, conversely, potentially overstated it in Q4 2013.