New figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that Irish employment grew at a slower, albeit still solid, pace in the second quarter of the year.
The figures show that on a quarterly basis, the number of people employed grew by just 0.2% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, with the annual growth rate slowing to 2.4% (3.5% yoy in Q1 2017). The latter represents the slowest rate of growth since Q1 2016.
However, Goodbody Stockbrokers claim the slowing on both a quarterly and annual basis can be explained by unusually sharp falls in part-time employment. Full-time employment continues to boom, growing by 5.0% yoy in Q2 2017, similar to the growth seen in Q1, representing the fastest rates of growth since 1999.
Every region of the country experienced employment growth over the twelve months to Q2 2017. Within this, the fastest growing region was the South-West (+6.8%). This region also has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Employment in Dublin grew by 1.5% yoy.
In line with previous quarters, the expansion continues to be broadly based across sectors and regions. Eleven of the fourteen sectors analysed saw annual employment growth in Q2 2017.
The fastest growing sectors were Information and Communications Technology (ICT) (+9.3% yoy), followed by construction (+7.7% yoy). ICT employment in Ireland has boomed in Ireland over recent years due to ongoing high levels of inward FDI, with the latest data confirming that the trend remains in train. The slowest growing sector was agriculture (-5.4% yoy).
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "We expressed our view prior to this release that employment may already be back to peak levels when account is taken of the new Census data. The CSO is still incorporating this information, and is likely to form part of changes that are being introduced at the time of the Q3 2017 release. The information gleaned from today’s release though shows that labour market momentum is being maintained, boding well for consumer and wider economic prospects."