As Brexit looms, Irish employment hits new record high

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Dublin city. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The number of people employed in Ireland hit a new record high in the first quarter of the year, according to new statistics.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, the number at work climbed by 0.9%, to just over 2.3 million.

The figure represents a 3.7% increase on the same period in 2018 — and will be seen as a sign of strength for the country’s economy as the threat of a no-deal Brexit looms.

The data also suggests that the pace of job growth in Ireland has quickened: on a seasonally adjusted basis, employment increased by 1.5%, the fastest in several years,

There were 114,400 people unemployed in the first quarter, a 14% decrease on the same period in 2018.

“Despite the international challenges, the number of people at work in Ireland continues to rise, with total employment increasing by 81,200 over the year to the first quarter of 2019,” said Irish finance minister Pachal Donohoe in a statement.

“It is especially encouraging that three-quarters of the increase was in full-time employment.”