Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (82)

Billy Kelleher


82. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach the reason the figure for potential additional labour force in the labour force survey increased from 30,300 in the first quarter of 2017 to 108,200 in the first quarter of 2019; and the employment status in addition to labour force status of these persons. [24842/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the official source of estimates of persons in employment, unemployed and not in the labour force (including the Potential Additional Labour Force) in the State.

The Potential Additional Labour Force (PALF) is the sum of the two groups 'persons seeking work but not immediately available' and 'persons available for work but not seeking'. Persons in the PALF are not part of the standard labour force, which encompasses only employed and unemployed people however, they have a stronger attachment to the labour market than other persons not in the labour force.

The LFS replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Q3 2017. This involved changes to the questionnaire, the interview mode, the introduction of a new sample, data processing changes and other methodological enhancements. As a result, there were changes in the levels of some series from Q3 2017 onwards.

The CSO adjusted the full QNHS series prior to Q3 2017 to enable comparability with the new LFS for some key indicators. Due to methodological constraints, only a limited number of indicators could be included in this process. Through extensive consultation with key users, the CSO determined that economic status (ILO), region, occupation, economic sector and highest level of education completed would be included in this process.

However, as the PALF was not included in the list of indicators used in this adjustment exercise, there is a break in the series before and after the introduction of the new survey in Q3 2017. Consequently, the series before and after Q3 2017 are not comparable and caution should be exercised when examining annual and quarterly changes.

The table shows a breakdown of the number of persons aged 15 years and over in the PALF for the years 2017-2019 and the percentage change between 2017 and 2019.

Number of persons (ILO) aged 15 years and over in the Potential Additional Labour Force (PALF), Q1 2017, Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 - Change Q1 17-Q1 19

Q1 17

Q1 18

Q1 19


Q1 17- Q1 19

Not in labour force





Potential additional labour force





Seeking not immediately available





of which: Actively seeking not available





Passive job-seekers





Job starting in less than 3 months not available/Job starting in more than 3 months





Available not seeking





of which: Discouraged workers










Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS), Central Statistics Office, Ireland.

* Estimates for numbers of persons or averages where there are less than 30 persons in a cell are not produced as estimates are too small to be considered reliable.

Parentheses [ ] indicate where there are 30-49 persons in a cell, estimates are considered to have a wider margin of error and should be treated with caution.

Data may be subject to future revision.

Data may be subject to sampling or other survey errors, which are greater in respect of smaller values or estimates of change.

Reference period: Q1 Jan-Mar