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Unemployment rate dips to 5.2% in August – CSO

Unemployment rate dips to 5.2% in August – CSO

The unemployment rate fell marginally in August, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The latest monthly unemployment figures show unemployment at 5.2%, down from 5.3% in July.

The CSO said there were 126,000 people unemployed last month, down 6,400 compared to August last year.

Last week the CSO revised the unemployment figures for June and July upwards based on the results of its Labour Force Survey.

Unemployment data been subject to sharp revisions in both directions in recent quarters.

An original estimate that the rate had fallen to a near 14-year low of 4.5% in June was marked sharply up by the CSO last week following the release of more detailed data.

Today’s CSO figures show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for men was 5.4% – down from 5.6% in August of last year. The jobless rate for women was 5.1% compared to 5.5% in August of last year.

Commenting on the CSO figures, Pawel Adrjan, economist at global job site Indeed, said there is still strong competition to hire staff, especially in areas with skills shortage such as finance, engineering, pharmaceuticals and technology.

“Whilst we may see further declines the rate cannot go down infinitely, and we are getting closer to a level that may be viewed as full employment,” the economist said.

Pawel Adrjan said that Ireland is increasingly looking to attract workers from overseas to fill new roles, with 43% of the growth in employment over the last year was driven by non-Irish nationals.

“The UK remains the biggest source of overseas interest in Irish tech jobs, and the increasing drumbeat of negativity around Brexit may make internationally mobile UK-based tech workers more likely to look for opportunities in countries like Ireland,” he said.

Despite the fact that fears of Brexit could help Ireland attract workers looking to leave the UK, the economist said the more serious risk is of the economic shock a no-deal Brexit could cause for Ireland.

“Instability and likely recession in our nearest neighbour and most important export market will almost certainly put pressure on the current benign labour market situation,” the economist cautioned.

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