The country’s unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in February from 4.4% the previous month, new Central Statistics Office figures show today.
The jobless rate has remained between a 21-year low of 4.2% and 4.5% over the last 10 months amid a tight labour market.
The unemployment rate of 4.3% in February was lower than the pre-pandemic level of 4.8% recorded in February 2020.
Today’s CSO figures show that the unemployment rate last month for men was 4% and for women was 4.7%.
The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed stood at 116,500 in February, compared with 118,100 in January – a decrease of 5,700 in the seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed in February of this year compared to the same month last year.
The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of men who were without a job fell to 56,800 in February, compared with 58,400 in January.
The seasonally adjusted number of women who were unemployed remained unchanged at 59,700 compared with the January figures.
Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate eased to 10.2% from a revised rate of 10.3% in January.
Jack Kennedy, economist at global job site Indeed, said today’s fall in joblessness comes amid optimistic, albeit still cautious, forecasts for the Irish economy based on falling energy prices, resilient global demand and easing inflationary momentum.
“The recently published Q4 Labour Force Survey from the CSO tells a story of sustained employment growth for the country with 68,600 more people employed in Ireland compared with a year ago,” Jack Kennedy said.
“The total number of 2,574,500 was the highest in the State since the series began in 1998 while the unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years was 9.1%, down from 10.2% in Q4 2021,” he added.
“Today’s CSO figures show the employment trends remain positive and it comes amid a series of optimistic predictions for the Irish economy. The European Commission recently revised its expectation for the performance of the Irish economy in 2023 upwards from 3.2% to to 4.9% with growth of 4.1% for 2024 compared to an earlier forecast of 3.1%,” the economist said.
“In doing so, it noted that the Irish labour market continues to perform ‘very well’. It said high household savings would underpin further consumption growth and expected foreign investment in the first half of this year to be strong,” he added.
He also said he expects the Irish labour market to remain tight with employment continuing to grow.
“Indeed’s data continues to show employers actively hiring, with the level of Irish job postings on Indeed up 59.5% on 24 February 2023 compared to 1 February 2020,” he said.