Employment rate

Updated: 24 Apr 2019
Next update: 23 May 2019

Employment rate is the ratio of employed persons to the population of the same age. The employment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of 15 to 64-year-old employed persons to the population of the same age.

A person is employed if he/she has during the survey week been in gainful employment at least one hour against wages or salary or fringe benefits, or to make profit, or has been temporarily absent from work. A person absent from work in the survey week is counted as employed if the reason for absence is maternity or paternity leave, own illness or if the absence has lasted under three months. Employed persons can be employees, self-employed or members of the same household working without actual pay in an enterprise owned by a family member.


In March 2019, the number of employed persons was 2,538,000 (margin of error ± 33,000), which was 61,000 more than a year earlier. There were 32,000 more employed men and 29,000 more employed women than in March 2018.

In March, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.8 per cent, having been 70.0 per cent one year earlier. From the previous years March, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 rose by 1.7 percentage points to 72.4 per cent and that of women by 1.9 percentage points to 71.2 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 72.6 per cent.

Statistical release