Irish Economy
Q1 2011-Q2 2014: Irish employee jobs up 21,000; 130,000 part-timers seeking full-time work
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Aug 26, 2014 - 3:10 PM

Printer-friendly page from Finfacts Ireland Business News - Click for the News Main Page - A service of the Finfacts Ireland Business and Finance Portal

The current Irish governing coalition assumed office in March 2011 and today's jobs data from the Central Statistics Office shows that net of public activation scheme jobs, the number of employee jobs is up 21,000 in more than 3 years with a total of almost 130,000 in part-time workers seeking full-time employment - - 
full-time employees are employees who work 30 or more hours per week.

The rise in job numbers since March 2011 of 60,000 comprises 21,000 employees, an additional 15,000 in public schemes and a rise of 24,000 in self-employment without employees - - effectively one-person operations.

Full-time employee jobs account for about 15,000 of the total.

Total employment is 245,000 below the level in Q2 2008.

Today's Quarterly National Household Survey shows that jobs added in 12 months fell from  61,000 in 2013 to 31,000 in July 2013-June 2014.

Finfacts: Irish Economy: Job numbers & workforce fell in H1 2014; Finfacts proved right

Michael Noonan, finance minister, said today: "We have now had seven consecutive quarters of solid annual employment expansion and we have now seen an increase in employment of over 70,000 since the low-point in mid-2012. We are now seeing that the difficult decisions taken by this government over the past few years are bearing fruit.”

Richard Bruton, jobs minister, said today: "I’m absolutely convinced that if we continue to make the right policy choices, then we will deliver the 100,000 jobs by 2016, which has been a core part of our programme."

Finfacts, July 2014: Irish Economy: Bruton and politics of jobs numbers; How to add 50%

Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, said today: "The Quarterly National Household Survey for Q2 shows employment growth up 0.2% on the quarter and 1.7% on the year. This follows a 0.1% quarterly rise in Q1. The unemployment rate fell to 11.5% from 12% in Q1, while the July Live Register number has been revised down to 11.3% from 11.5%. However, at face value, the 0.2% rise is still a little disappointing following a similarly weak Q1. Surveys of companies’ employment intentions and buoyant tax revenue growth pointed to a more robust gain in employment in the first half of 2014.

As we flagged in today’s Davy Morning Equity Briefing, cuts in the public sector continued to weigh on overall jobs growth in Q2. Data released yesterday showed public sector numbers down 3,900, or 1% year-on-year (yoy) to Q2, following a similar decline in Q1. Excluding semi-state bodies, numbers were down a sharper 6,200, or 1.9% yoy. In contrast, private sector jobs growth was up 2.3% yoy.

Moreover, weak part-time jobs growth continued to weigh on aggregate employment. The 0.2% quarterly rise in employment was split between a 0.7% fall (-0.4% yoy) in part-time work and a 0.3% rise (+2.4% yoy) in full-time work. The underlying picture is therefore healthier than the headline data suggest.

At a sectoral level, Irish job creation remains reasonably broad-based. Employment in industry was down 2,700 (-1.1%) in the year to Q2, while construction employment was up 3,600 (+3.5%). Service sector employment was up 23,800, or 1.7% yoy. Within the services sector, employment rose in hotels and restaurants (+8,100), information technology (+1,500), professional and scientific activities (+6,100), transport and storage (+4,500) and administration and support services (+6,200). Retail (-2,000) and Finance (-1,700) detracted from growth.

Overall, today’s numbers provide further evidence that the labour market continued to improve in Q2, driven by the recovery in services and the construction sector. We expect unemployment to fall to 11% on average in 2014 and to 9.6% in 2015."

Last month Ibec, the business lobby, said in its pre-budget submission, that it "expects employment to increase faster than Department of Finance forecasts. In tow with stronger employment the unemployment rate should drop to a lower level. Ibec forecasts an unemployment rate of 9.6% for 2015 while the
Department of Finance expects 10.5%"

Fergal O’Brien, Ibec head of policy and chief economist, said today: “Although there has been some slowdown in the headline employment growth number from last year, this was to be expected. Many firms are increasing hours and are moving part-time employees to full-time, rather than taking on more part-time staff.

"It would be a mistake to interpret this trend as a sign of a weakening labour market recovery. Employment measured in full-time equivalents grew by 2.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2014 - a faster rate than last year (2.5%) as the quality of employment recovers further.

"Today’s figures represent the fastest rate of employment growth in Western Europe and support our view that the economy will grow by between 3% and 4% this year and next. The latest figures give further comfort to the Minister for Finance that a minimal fiscal adjustment will be needed in October's Budget."

Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody, commented: "Although growth has slowed somewhat in recent quarters, the recovery in the Irish labour market remains impressive and has become more broad-based.

Employment up for seven quarters in a row…
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, employment grew by 0.2% qoq, and increased by 1.7% yoy over the past twelve months. This latter comparison represents a slowdown from previous quarters (2.3% yoy in Q1 2014), but this growth is impressive nonetheless. It is also encouraging that full-time employment (+2.4% yoy) continues to lead the way, indicating that employers have confidence in the sustainability of the economic recovery.

…with ten of fourteen sectors expanding
In the second quarter, ten of the fourteen sectors identified by the CSO were seeing employment increases on an annual basis. The strongest growth is in administration and support service activities (+11% yoy), having seen declines for most of the 2008-2013 period. The weakest sector is financial, insurance and real estate activities (-1.7% yoy) and is reflective of the continued cost-cutting efforts in the sector. The broad-based nature of the employment recovery is encouraging.

Unemployment rate down to 11.3%
In Q2, the unemployment rate stood at 11.5%, down from 12.0% in Q1 and from the peak of 15.1% in February 2012. Notably, the CSO state that the unemployment rate has fallen further – to 11.3% - over the past two months.

Multi-speed recovery continues
Despite the improvement in the labour market over recent quarters, significant differences remain across different generations and geographies. In relation to the former, youth unemployment (15-24) stands at 26.9% (down from 29.6% in Q2 2013), compared to below 10% for those over 35. From a geographical perspective, the unemployment rate is lowest in Dublin (10.0%), but stands at over 14% in the South East of the country. While the improvement in labour market conditions is undoubtedly positive, a multi-speed dimension remains a feature."

© Copyright 2011 by