The official employment figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 are due for release this morning. There was an annual increase in employment of 3.2% or 58,000 in the third quarter of 2013, bringing total employment to 1,899,300. This compared with an annual rise in the numbers at work of 1.8% (33,700) in the previous quarter and a decrease of 0.2% in the year to the third quarter of 2012.
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The annual jump in employment was driven by a 53,500 increase in full-time employment, and a rise of 4,500 in those working on a part-time basis. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, employment increased by 22,500 (+1.2%) in the quarter. Employment rose in eight of the fourteen economic sectors on an annual basis and fell in the other six.
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The greatest rates of increase were recorded in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (+29.3% or 25,100) and the Accommodation and food service activities (+11.9% or 14,700) sectors. Meanwhile, the largest rates of decrease were posted in Public administration (-3.7% or -3,700) and Administration and support service activities (-2.8% or -1,900) sectors.
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<b><i>Employment opportunities are on the rise, which can only be positive for the economy as a whole in the months ahead. Continued improvement in underlying labour market conditions is forecast to show an annual rise in employment of 60,000 in the fourth quarter of last year.
<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>



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