Irish exports not jobs engine as numbers remain below 2007 peak
The CSO reported Tuesday an annual increase in employment of 2.9% or 57,500 in the year to the third quarter of 2016, bringing total employment to 2.04m compared with 2.146m at the end of the first quarter of 2008. The Irish jobs recovery since end of 2013 has been mainly dependent on domestic sectors not tradeable exports employment.
The CSO said that total number of persons in the labour force in the third quarter of 2016 was 2.218m representing an increase of 32,200 (+1.5%) over the year. The number of persons not in the labour force in Q3 2016 was 1.430m, an increase of 3,100 (+0.2%) over the year. The official rate of unemployment at the end of September was at 7.9%.
Jobs in hotels & restaurants rose 9.5% on the year.
Looking at the tradeable export sectors Industry and Information and communications, employment is down by 19,000 since Q3 2007 — Industry is off 39,000 and Information and communications (ICT) is up 20,000.
There has not been a big change in Financial Services and it's possible that a fall in staff numbers in domestic markets may have been offset by rises in export markets. However, the situation remains that rising exports have not been a jobs engine.
On the recovery period since end 2013 (see chart below), 130,000 jobs have been added and 30,000 (24,000 in Industry and 6,000 in ICT) in the key export sectors, or 23% of the total — the rise of only 6,000 in the ICT sector is surprising.
Indigenous exporting companies have an average domestic sales ratio of 50% and the overall rise in the population of 518,000 in the period 2006-2016 should have bolstered demand in particular in recent years.
Employment in September 2016 was also 130,000 below the peak boom employment total of 2.170m at end Q3 2007.