The number of people in the labour force in April 2011 was 2,232,203 - an increase of 122,705, or 5.8pc, since April 2006, the latest summary of the results of last year's Census from the CSO shows.
The labour force participation rate for males fell from 72.3pc in 2006 to 69.4pc in 2011 whilst the female participation rate rose over the same period from 52.8pc to 54.6pc, it said.
The number of retired persons increased by 21pc, from 377,927 to 457,394 while the number of females looking after the home or family as their principal status fell by 48,422, a decline of 13.1pc.
The overall unemployment rate for the State on a Principal Economic Status basis was 19pc.
This census-based rate, which differs for methodological reasons from the official QNHS figures, showed that 424,843 persons were unemployed in April 2011.
Among the cities, Waterford City and suburbs had the highest unemployment rate at 24.6pc, while Dublin city and suburbs had the lowest rate at 17.4pc.
Overall there were 122,682 (6.4pc) fewer persons at work in April 2011 compared with five years previously; within this there was an increase of 30,011 in the number of women at work, and a decrease of 152,693 (13.8pc) in the number of men at work.
The number of non-Irish nationals at work increased by 23,670 or 9.7pc between 2006 and 2011. This contrasts sharply with a decline of 136,642 or 8.4pc in the number of Irish nationals over the same period. In April 2011, the hotels and restaurants sector had the highest proportion of non-Irish national workers (38.1pc), followed by business activities (19.6pc), manufacturing (18.4pc) and the wholesale and retail sector(17.8pc). Unemployment amongst non-Irish nationals increased over the period, more than doubling between 2006 and 2011 from 33,587 to 77,460, giving an unemployment rate of 22.4pc compared with 18.5pc for Irish nationals in April 2011. Census 2011 saw a strong increase in the number of students aged 15 years and over since 2006 - increasing by 59,242 (16.9pc) from 349,596 to 408,838. In particular, participation rates in full-time education for 19 to 24 year old males increased from 27.1pc in 2006 to 38.9pc in 2011. This compares with 42.2pc for females in this age group in 2011. A new question on the main field of study of the highest qualification completed to date (excluding secondary school qualifications) was asked for the first time in Census 2011. The most popular category overall was social sciences, business and law with 413,959 persons, representing 28pc of all respondents, followed by engineering, manufacturing and construction with 284,925 persons. The unemployment rate for persons who had attained at most a primary education was 33.7pc. This compares with an unemployment rate of 7.8pc for persons with a third level degree or higher. The number of people commuting to work fell by 5pc from 1.79 million in 2006 to 1.70 million in 2011. Decreases were seen in all categories of commuters apart from cycling which rose slightly from 36,306 to 39,803, an increase of 3,497 persons. Amongst public transport users, bus users fell from 114,956 to 91,676, a fall of 23,280 while train users were also down marginally from 54,942 to 52,749. For the first time more third level students drove to college than used any other mode of travel, with 28pc driving to college in their own car compared with 22pc five years previously. Car ownership among households continued its upward trend with 1.36 million households having at least one car in 2011 - an increase of 186,000 from 2006. Broadband use in private households increased from 21.1pc in 2006 to 65.3pc in 2011. 70.4pc of the State's urban households had broadband compared with 56.5pc in rural areas. "This report provides a broad overview of the socio-economic situation in Ireland in April 2011. It presents findings on topics such as the changing rate of participation in both the labour force and education of young people, how unemployment has affected various groups and areas over the past five years and how health and social class are related," said Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO. "All of these topics will also be covered in more detail in future Profile reports to be released during the remainder of 2012, each of which will examine the data in a way that seeks to get behind the headline figures," said Ms Cullen.