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.
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.
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.
<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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