Irish Economy
Irish Economy 2014: Numbers on Live Register + public schemes at 447,000 in October - 20% of workforce
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Nov 5, 2014 - 12:21 PM

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The standardised unemployment rate (SUR) in October 2014 was 11.0%, down from 11.1% in September 2014.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from the most recent Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) was 11.5% in the second quarter of 2014.  The number on the Live Register + activation schemes (data for September at 75,600) was 447,000 - equivalent to 20% of the workforce.

The CSO says that on a seasonally adjusted basis the Live Register total recorded a monthly decrease of 3,500 (-0.9%) in October 2014, reducing the seasonally adjusted total to 371,400.

In unadjusted terms there were 358,630 people signing on the Live Register in October 2014.  This represents an annual decrease of 37,882 (-9.6%).

  • On a seasonally adjusted basis the Live Register showed a monthly decrease of 2,900 (-1.3%) males in October 2014, while females decreased by 600 (-0.4%) over the same period.
  • The number of male claimants decreased by 28,981 (-11.7%) to 217,772 in the year to October 2014, while female claimants decreased by 8,901 (-5.9%) to 140,858. This compares with a decrease of 21,792 (-8.1%) to 246,753 for males, while female claimants showed a decrease of 1,868 (-1.2%) to 149,759 in the year to October 2013.

The CSO says that the Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment. It includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA).  Unemployment is measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey and the latest estimated number of persons unemployed as of the second quarter of 2014 was 254,500.

Live Register duration of continuous registration: The number of long term claimants on the Live Register in October 2014 was 170,892. The number of male long term claimants decreased by 12,856 (-10.2%) in the year to October 2014, while females increased by 1,347 (+2.4%), giving an overall annual decrease of 11,509 (-6.3%) in the number of long term claimants.

In October 2014, 52.3% (187,738) of all claimants on the Live Register were short term claimants. The comparable figure for October 2013 was 54.0% (214,111). The annual fall of 26,373 (-12.3%) in the number of short term claimants consisted of a decrease of 16,125 (-13.3%) in the number of male short term claimants and a decrease of 10,248 (-11.0%) in female short term claimants

Live Register casual and part-time workers: There were 71,452 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in October 2014, which represents 19.9% of the total Live Register. This compares with 20.5% one year earlier when there were 81,319 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register. In the year to October 2014 the number of casual and part-time workers decreased by 9,867 (-12.1%), with the number of males decreasing by 5,670 (-12.9%) and the number of females decreasing by 4,197 (-11.2%).

Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, commented: "The fall in the unemployment rate to 11.0% in September suggests that the labour market continued to improve in September. This chimes with PMI surveys for manufacturing and services released this week, suggesting that employers in these sectors continue to add jobs. In contrast, the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) indicated that employment grew by 0.1% in Q1 2014 and 0.2% in Q2 2014, suggesting that the pace of jobs growth has slowed. However, the QNHS data could still be revised when the Q3 release is published in late November.

The timelier Live Register unemployment rate points to a consistent improvement in employment through 2014. Ireland’s unemployment rate is now below the euro area 11.5% rate but still well above the UK reading at 6.0%. There is a fear that long-term claimants, specifically ex-construction workers, could struggle to find new work – so that Ireland’s unemployment rate will stay above pre-crisis levels. However, encouragingly, long-term claimants have fallen by 6.3% in the past 12 months.

In October 2014, 52.3% (187,738) of all claimants on the Live Register were short term claimants. The comparable figure for October 2013 was 54.0% (214,111). The annual fall of 26,373 (-12.3%) in the number of short term claimants consisted of a decrease of 16,125 (-13.3%) in the number of male short term claimants and a decrease of 10,248 (-11.0%) in female short term claimants."


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