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More than 2 million people are now working in Ireland, for the first time since 2009

There are 56,000 more people at work now than a year previously – a 2.9% rise, bringing total employment in the country to 2,014,900.

Luas works on Dublin's O'Connell Street. The biggest rises in jobs were in construction and administration.
Luas works on Dublin's O'Connell Street. The biggest rises in jobs were in construction and administration.

OVER 2 MILLION people are at work in Ireland for the first time since the recession, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

There are 56,000 more people at work now than a year previously – a 2.9% rise, bringing total employment in the country to 2,014,900.

The number in employment now is still nearly 7% below the peak of 2.16 million in 2007, however.

The figures show that the biggest increases in the second three months of 2016 were in construction, and in administrative and support services.

On average, around 1,000 jobs have been added in the economy every week since the beginning of the year, and net migration into the country has surged.

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar welcomed the reduction in unemployment rates.

The figures released this morning by the Central Statistics Office sharply contrast with previous recoveries – where not only was the recovery jobless but even when jobs were created, people who were long term unemployed couldn’t get access to them.

“Long-term unemployment has dropped to under 100,000 for the first time since 2009, which indicates that this time around the initiatives taken by the Government to help unemployed people access the labour market are working.”

Cranes Construction cranes in Dublin's docklands.

Compared to the first three months of the year, the number of people in full-time employment by the end of the June rose by 44,900 people, a 3% rise.

There was also a 2.5% increase in part-time employment, with 11,400 extra people working part-time.

Despite more people being in work, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged between April and June at 8.4%, due to increased participation

According to the CSO, unemployment dropped by 23,400 (11.1%) in the three months to June.

Although this is the 16th quarter in succession where unemployment has declined on an annual basis, 187,800 people remain unemployed.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed the new figures.

“We have now seen 15 consecutive quarters of employment growth,” he said.

“This growth remains broad-based, with 12 of the 14 sectors reported by the CSO showing annual growth.

Creating jobs for our people means they can contribute to a better life for themselves and a fairer society for all of our people.

The long-term unemployment rate dropped from 5.5% to 4.4% at the end of June 2016, compared to the end of June 2015.

Over half of all unemployed people comprise long-term unemployment accounted for 51.1% of total unemployment in Q2 2016 compared with 56.1% a year earlier and 57.6% in the second quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, the labour force in the second quarter was 2,202,700, representing an increase of 32,800 (1.5%) over the year.

The number of people not in the labour force between April and June was 1,434,900 - a decrease of 2,200 (0.2%) over the year.

Read: For the first time in years, more people are migrating into Ireland than leaving

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