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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 - 6:46:21 AM

Irish Live Register: Fall of 4,200 in November 2010 to 425,002; 75,000 non-Irish nationals claiming benefits
By Finfacts Team
Dec 1, 2010 - 2:47:32 PM

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Source: CSO

Irish Live Register: On a seasonally adjusted basis there was a monthly decrease of 4,200 in the Live Register in November 2010. The number of persons on the Live Register now stands at 425,002 which represents an annual increase of 11,497 (+2.8%) in the unadjusted series. This compares with an increase of 17,146 (+4.2%) in the year to October 2010. There were 75,000 non-Irish nationals claiming benefits.

January of 2009 represented the spike in claimant increases in any month, with a record 33,000, or 11.3%, rise - - 26,700 additions in February, 20,000 in March; 15,800 in April; 13,500 in May; 11,400 in June; 10,500 in July; 5,400 in August and 600 in September. The total fell 3,000 in October; rose 900 in November and another 3,300 were added in December, to bring the end 2009 total to 426,700. The total fell by 500 in April 2010 and rose to a record 439,100 in May. June saw 5,800 added, to a then new all-time record in June: 444,900. 8,500 further claimants were added in July and 2,500 in August to bring the total to a massive 455,000 (unadjusted). There was a fall of  5,400 in September and 6,600 in October.

Other features include:

There was a decrease of 2,600 males and 1,600 females in the seasonally adjusted series in November.

The average net weekly decrease in the seasonally adjusted series in November 2010 was 1,050, which compares with a weekly decrease of 1,320 in the previous month.

The standardised unemployment rate in November was 13.5%, down from 13.6% in October. This compares with 13.2% in the second quarter of 2010, the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from the Quarterly National Household Survey.

The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment. The CSO says it includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance. Unemployment is measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey and the latest seasonally adjusted figure, for April to June 2010, is 284,500 persons unemployed.

Live Register schemes analysis

In November there were 119,000 Jobseekers Benefit (JB) claimants on the Live Register, a monthly decrease of 3,716 (-3.0%), while the number of Jobseekers Allowance (JA) applicants decreased by 1,293 (-0.5%) to 279,771. Other registrants increased by 458 (+1.8%) to 26,231.

In the year to November 2010 JB claims fell by 44,701 (-27.3%), while JA applications and other registrants increased by 48,117 (+20.8%) and 8,081 (+44.5%) respectively.

In November there were 40,787 new registrants on the Live Register, which compares with 49,827 in the previous month. New registrants consisted of 19,139 JB claims (46.9%), 19,787 JA applications (48.5%) and 1,861 other registrants (4.6%). On average 6,208 male and 3,989 female new registrants joined the Live Register each week in November. By comparison, in November 2009 7,759 male and 4,275 female new registrants joined the Live Register each week.

It should be noted that the number of new registrants is not the same as the overall change in the number of people on the Live Register which is affected by closed claims and the movement of people between schemes.

Live Register regional analysis

There was an unadjusted monthly decrease of 4,551 (-1.1%) on the Live Register in November. This decrease was reflected in all of the eight regions, with the largest percentage decrease in Dublin (-2.1%), followed by the Mid-West region (-1.9%). The smallest decrease was in the South-West region (-0.1%).

The unadjusted annual increase of 2.8% on the Live Register in the year to November 2010 was reflected in all of the eight regions. The largest percentage increase was in the Mid-East region (+6.0%), followed by the Midland region (+5.7%). The smallest percentage increase was recorded in Dublin (+1.0%).

Live Register occupational groups

Craft and related (26.1%) and Plant and machine operatives (15.8%) continued to be the largest groups on the Live Register in November.

Seven occupational groups showed monthly Live Register decreases in November. The largest percentage decrease was in the Professional group (-6.0%), followed by the Clerical and secretarial group (-3.9%).

In the year to November 2010 four occupational groups showed Live Register increases. The largest percentage increase was in the Other occupations group (+11.2%), while the next largest increases were in the Personal and protective service (+8.8%) and Sales (+7.1%) groups. The largest percentage decrease was in the Managers and administrators group (-3.7%).

Live Register duration of continuous registration

There was a monthly unadjusted decrease of 7,270 (-2.6%) in short term (less than one year) claimants on the Live Register in November, while the number of long term claimants increased by 2,719 (1.8%). The monthly change in short term claimants consisted of a decrease of 3,732 males and a decrease of 3,538 females.

For long term claimants males showed an increase of 2,361 while females increased by 358.

In November approximately two thirds (274,675) of all claimants on the Live Register were short term claimants. The comparable figure for November 2009 was 322,158 (77.9%). The fall of 47,483 over the year consisted of a decrease of 38,970 in the number of male short term claimants and a decrease of 8,513 in female short term claimants.

In the year to November 2010 the number of long term male claimants increased by 43,105 (+64.1%), while the comparable increase for females was 15,875 (+66.0%).

Live Register casual and part-time workers

There were 80,208 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in November, which represents 18.9% of the total Live Register. This compares with 17.8% one year earlier when there were 73,630 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register.

In the year to November 2010 the number of casual and part-time workers increased by 6,578 (+8.9%), with the number of males increasing by 2,840 (+7.2%) and the number of females increasing by 3,738 (+10.9%).

Live Register nationality groupings

In November Irish nationals accounted for 82.4% (350,220) of the number of persons on the Live Register. There was a monthly decrease of 4,698 (-1.3%) in Irish nationals and an increase of 147 (+0.2%) in non-Irish nationals. Of the 74,782 non-Irish nationals, the largest constituent group on the Live Register were nationals from the EU15 to EU27 States (40,728), followed by 17,598 nationals from the UK.

In the year to November 2010 the number of Irish nationals on the Live Register increased by 13,495 (+4.0%), while the number of non-Irish nationals decreased by 1,998 (-2.6%).

Commenting on the latest Live Register numbers from the CSO, IBEC chief economist Fergal O'Brien said: "We know from our members that new jobs are being created every week in the economy and it also looks like the pace of job losses has slowed considerably again.

"The number on the Live Register has now fallen for the fourth month in a row and the average decline over this period is over 4,000 per month. While there may be some impact from emigration in the numbers, it is clear that the jobs market has improved in recent months.

"Despite the difficult banking and fiscal positions, the enterprise sector is experiencing recovery this year - this is evident in manufacturing output, exports and now in the labour market. Most of IBEC's members undertook extensive restructuring during 2008 and 2009, but 2010 has been a much more positive year and many firms are well placed for further expansion in 2011. Prospects are being helped by a strong recovery in competitiveness and there is also a silver lining in the Eurozone crisis of a weaker euro exchange rate."

Lynsey Clemenger, economist at Ulster Bank commented:

Encouragingly, numbers on Live Register fell for the third consecutive month in November…

While the Irish labour market remains extremely weak, the November Live Register (LR) figures showed that the situation is continuing to move in the right direction. The numbers claiming unemployment benefit fell by 4,200 last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, following declines of 5,400 and 6,600 in September and October respectively. Combined this takes the fall in the numbers signing on to 16,200 in recent months, which goes some way towards offsetting the 24,700 rise in the eight months to August.

 In terms of the detail, males again represented a larger proportion of the fall in people on the LR in November, somewhat unsurprising given the huge rise over the course of the recession. While we will have to wait for the QNHS data for the breakdown by sector (Q3 is due next week and Q4 in March), the LR numbers continue to point to some stabilisation in employment in the male-dominated construction sector in the final quarter of the year.

…while the estimated unemployment rate also edged lower for the third month running

The total on the LR now stands at 438,800, which, while still elevated, represents the lowest level since April. It would certainly seem that following some renewed weakness over the period May-August, the trajectory has shifted more favourably in recent months - a view which is further reinforced by the LR estimate of the unemployment rate. This so-called standardised unemployment rate nudged down for the third consecutive month to 13.5% in November, from 13.6% in October and a peak of 13.8% in August.

It is important to stress that this is just an estimate and that the official unemployment figures come from the QNHS which is based on a large survey that provides a comprehensive overview of the labour market in terms of trends in the labour force and the numbers both in and out of work. Nonetheless, the LR unemployment rate is useful because of its relative timeliness.

The latest official estimate of the unemployment rate is 13.2% in Q2, with the LR estimate pointing to upward pressure in Q3 (to approx 13.7% on average) and some moderation in Q4. However, trends in the labour force (e.g. participation rates and migration flows) will have an important bearing on the trajectory for the official unemployment rate. Nevertheless, the pattern emerging from the last three monthly readings of the Live Register points to a labour market that is in the process of stabilising. Indeed, while there is a significant amount of focus on strains in sovereign debt markets at the moment, a host of domestic indicators including not only today’s Live Register numbers, but this morning’s manufacturing PMI as well as in trends in exports, industrial production and tax receipts, have shown signs of improvement of late.

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