April Live Register, March Retail Sales

Amid all the bond (and now equity) market excitement, it’s worth noting some economic news from home that’s not so bad and some news from abroad that’s positively good. Not so bad is today’s Live Register release which shows the standardised unemployment rate steady at 13.4% (though this is subject to all the usual caveats about whether this claims based measure is accurately capturing the underlying trends in joblessness) while the retail sales figures show some sign of stabilisation.

From abroad, the non-farm payrolls figures in the US showed 290,000 jobs added in April. While the unemployment rate from the household survey increased to 9.9%, this is partly due to a reversal of the decline in labour force participation. Payroll growth at this pace, if sustained, would start to reduce the unemployment rate.

7 thoughts on “April Live Register, March Retail Sales”

  1. Is it possible to get accurate figures on how many emigrated from Ireland between April 2009 – 2010?

  2. @George Orwell – “Is it possible to get accurate figures on how many emigrated from Ireland between April 2009 – 2010?”

    …or how many thousands went into/continued in full time education during that period as they could see there are no jobs out there… or how many went into ‘early retirement’/ceased looking… or how many one-man companies/self-employed/freelance people haven’t had any work for the past year… or how many unemployed have been moved off the register by various trickery…. or how many previously ft employees have taken part time work, etc.

    The retail sales figures continue to suprise me. Is it just a case of ‘retail therapy’ going on though?

    I’m depressed. I think I will go shopping.

  3. What we do appear to be seeing is that we have hit the bottom – all the latest figures suggest that. The current Greek crisis may upset this and we don’t know what shape the recovery will be but let’s be thankful for small mercies.

  4. @ Stuart
    As I read the figures

    Long term unemployment (JA Apps) now running at nearly twice short term u/e (JB apps) and still rising + 80K annually

    There are bargains galore so volume is naturally up, but retail sales excl motor down 5% pa in value terms.

    Talk to anyone on the street. It’s not free fall but there’s no bottom.

  5. @Paul
    “Talk to anyone on the street. It’s not free fall but there’s no bottom.”

    I am on the street, I’m in business both for myself and as a financial consultant. There is more confidence out there in the people I deal with. Many are still struggling and losing money but there is some light to encourage them to hang in there.

  6. @ Stuart

    probably tells you a lot about the mindset of many posters on here that a ‘good news’ story gets only 5 comments.

  7. @ Eoin

    With respect for everyone’s need to make a living, and for other people’s practical knowledge and perspectives, one of things I have to do in my job is to try to figure out how much my clients are deluding themselves. If I want to go to Killarney (of economic development), I wouldn’t start from here.

    As they say in Oklahoma, let’s put the snake on the table. The chair of NAMA has recently remarked on the large number of loans between 5m and 20m going in. As I recall, he noted also that the borrowers were not property developers, but people in other occupations.

    It is difficult to escape the suspicion that a large chunk of our professional and business middle class has bankrupted itself, and us, by property speculation. How could respectable, confortably off folk have gone off on such a mad spree ? It seems that the purpose of NAMA is, among other things, to conceal that embarrassing social reality.

    Genuine recovery means facing up to what we are, and how we do things in Ireland and elsewhere. Painful, certainly, but not fatal.

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