Davy Research

Irish Economy

Unemployment rate falls to 6.4% in March

DAVY VIEW

Labour market data for March show that unemployment fell to 6.4% from 6.6% in February. Unemployment is now at its lowest level since June 2008. At face value, the headline data suggest that Ireland’s recovery phase is almost complete – unemployment could be below 5% by the end of 2017 at the current pace. However, a broad range of indicators suggest that the recovery has further to run – employment is still 5.4% below peak and labour force participation is only now beginning to recover as net migration turns positive. Moreover, census data showing the population is 90,000 higher than previously estimated will probably lead to upward revisions to the unemployment rate. In short, we think the catch-up phase still has a couple of years left to run.

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