News & Events

Tánaiste and Minister Donohoe welcome latest figures showing further recovery in employment in the third quarter of this year

Labour Force Survey shows:

  • Employment continues to grow strongly. 221,300 jobs were created in the year to Q3 2021

  • 113,400 of these jobs were created in Q3 2021

  • Total employment now stands at 2.47 million, close to the 2.5 million target set in the Economic Recovery Plan for 2024

  • Employment outside of Dublin increased by 151,900 in the year to Q3 2021 (+9.7 percent)

  • Full time employment up 107,200 (+5.9 percent) year on year in the third quarter 

Labour Force Survey (LFS) data published today by the Central Statistics Office show a continued recovery from the pandemic in Ireland’s labour market, with 221,300 jobs created in the year to Q3 2021. Employment now stands at 2.47 million, almost a 10 percent increase on the same quarter in 2020.

This growth, which follows similarly positive employment growth in Q2 of 2021, is reflective of the success of the Government’s efforts to help workers and businesses throughout the pandemic, the easing of public health restrictions, the successful rollout of the Government’s vaccination programme and the focus on driving labour market recovery set out in the Economic Recovery Plan. The Economic Recovery Plan’s overarching target is to have 2.5 million in employment by 2024, in excess of pre-pandemic levels.

Commenting on the figures, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“Today’s results show that over 110,000 people returned to work in the third quarter of this year. Employment in now approaching the 2.5 million target set for 2024 in the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, higher than it was before Covid.

“It’s not surprising that the largest sectoral increase was in Accommodation and Food Services, with a 29.4% increase in the number of people working in that sector as it re-opened during this period. 

“The virus never ceases to surprise us and the past few weeks have given rise to more uncertainty. I know this is really tough for businesses and staff. We are monitoring the situation closely and the Government will continue to be there for those that are struggling. The fact that so many people were able to return to work relatively quickly is a testament to the policies that are in place to help businesses with their overheads and maintaining contact with their staff.”

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:

“Today’s data show that the total number of people in work during the summer was 150,000 higher than in the corresponding period two years ago.  This is very encouraging and consistent with other indicators we have seen in recent months, including the 170,000 fall in PUP numbers in the third quarter and the ongoing strength of income tax receipts this year.  This confirms that the Government’s policy response to the pandemic has been appropriate – minimising scarring and paving the way for rapid recovery.  I am confident that, once we overcome the fourth wave of the virus, our economy and our jobs market will continue to strengthen.”


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, or (01) 631-2200