September Live Register

The September Live Register figures show a decline of 5,400 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 13.8 percent in August to 13.7 percent in September. The average unemployment rate for the third quarter was 13.73 percent compared with 13.2 percent in the second quarter.

19 thoughts on “September Live Register”

  1. Biggest fall in the unemployment rate evah, according to Mr. O’Cuiv. Who wants to tell him? Who can be bothered?

    The labour force figures in the next QNHS will be interesting.

  2. How does this tally with net emigration or immigration figures? Does anyone know where they can be found? Anecdotally I know of around a dozen people who have left in the last three months. How many school leavers have left the country without even looking for a job here?

  3. While welcome, surely the employment figures are more relevant. If we are as I suspect exporting the problem, it may solve some of the issues with current spending, but doesn’t indicate the problem of low confidence in the economy.

  4. The average drop in unemployment for August and September is roughly 325/week.
    The typical emigration rate is 700/week.

    Conclusion: employment is still dropping.

    Not exactly earth shattering news but puts the inevitable spin in perspective.

  5. Watching B.Cowen on 6.01. Looks like they’re pinning all their hopes on the credibility of the statement tomorrow!

    What if the big scarey bond markets dont buy the big ‘estimate’?

  6. The fall was entirely predictable. Indeed, I predicted it in August here.

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/08/05/july-unemployment-and-exchequer-returns/#comments

    At the risk of ruining my reputation, I’d say that the figures exaggerate the real fall, just as the figures in the summer exaggerated the real rise (if there was any at all then, which I am beginning to doubt). What seems to have occurred is that the summer seasonal adjustments have gone awry, not an uncommon occurrence in statistics. They are not fully reflecting summer seasonality, as I argued in the above link in August was probably the case. The effect is the illusion of an increase in summer, which is then reversed in autumn, giving the illusion of a decrease then. This is the second year in a row something similar has occurred, ie much better figures in autumn than in summer, even after the seasonal adjustment is done. This was discussed at length in the above link when the July figures were published. The actuality is probably that the numbers have been flat all year. The big winner in today’s figures is Minister OCuiv, whose analysis of the July figures has proved correct, although at the time it was called ‘stupid’ by some prominent academic economists.

  7. @hoganmahew

    … amazing the way the same people keep cropping up on all these upper-echelon boards …..

  8. Going back to the discussion in August that is in the link I gave above, I do think that Karl Whelan and Kevin O’Rourke should now withdraw their criticisms of Minister O’Cuiv for saying that the July inrease was seasonal. The fact is: it now looks as though he was right.

    @Karl Whelan (in August)

    Update: I was interested to hear Minister Eamon O’Cuiv explain the increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate on seasonal factors. Sure unemployment always goes up in July, I heard him say on the radio. You’d think the CSO boffins would have factored that in to their calculations …

    @Kevin O’Rourke (in August)

    Just heard Eamonn Ryan quoted as blaming the rise on seasonal factors. If the quote is accurate, and maybe it is not, then perhaps someone could explain to the Minister the meaning of the phrase “seasonally adjusted”?

    Yes, Eamon Ó Cuív. My apologies to the other Eamon for accusing him of saying such a stupid thing.

  9. @ JohnTheOptimist

    Here’s a link to his interview on the News at 1 on August 5 when asked about the rise in unemployment rate in July.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0805/news1pm.html

    Here was his first statement when asked about the figures:

    “I think we should put in context, the figures traditionally rise, and have risen every year in the last 20 years in July.”

    Given that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 13.4 percent in June to 13.7 percent in July, Mr. O’Cuiv’s immediate rush to blame seasonal factors for the increase was misleading.

    So the criticism stands though doubtless you are going to continue claiming that black is white on this issue.

  10. @ JTO

    “The big winner in today’s figures is Minister OCuiv, whose analysis of the July figures has proved correct, although at the time it was called ’stupid’ by some prominent academic economists.”

    So Kevin O’Rourke used the phrase stupid in relation to the Minister’s comments. Which other prominent economist used that phrase? Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t believe I used the word.

  11. @JTO
    “I think we should put in context, the figures traditionally rise, and have risen every year in the last 20 years in July.”
    And indeed, the stupidity of the comment comes from the fact that even a cursory glance at the figures shows that they don’t always rise in July:
    In 2007, they didn’t rise.
    In 2006, they didn’t rise.
    In 2005, they fell…

    Indeed, to put the unemployment rate into further context, it rose or stayed the same every month from November 2006 to January 2010, falling then in February 2010 and rising or staying the same until the current month.

    Statistically speaking, as I’m sure you are aware, Mr. O’Cuiv would be more correct to say that unemployment figures usually don’t fall, but it would be an equally stupid thing to say…

  12. Do today’s figures really matter?
    We are about to get shot. Does it really matter how round the barrel or how long the gun?
    We will survivie til March – probably even an easing of bond spreads tomorrow – in a quasi political move by the markets to stave off default. In March they can no longer deny that we really are broke. And not because of Anglo really but because we have had fake growth and nothing to replace it.

  13. @Karl Whelan

    No, YOU never used the word ‘stupid’. Only fair to point that out. I never said that you did. But maybe I should not have used your name alongside that of Kevin O’Rourke in that context. However, Kevin did, as did several others in the media and various blogs (not this one). What you said was: “I was interested to hear Minister Eamon O’Cuiv explain the increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate on seasonal factors. Sure unemployment always goes up in July, I heard him say on the radio. You’d think the CSO boffins would have factored that in to their calculations.”, which was a reasonable comment, but I’d need to have heard you speak it to know what your tone was, and whether or not it contained a slight element of sarcasm of the Minister.

    The bottom line is this:

    Minister O’Cuiv’s point back in August, when the Live Register showed a rise in the summer, even after supposed seasonal-adjustment, was that the seasonal adjustment made by the ‘CSO boffins’ was under-estimating the actual seasonal effect and that, consequently, the Live Register would fall back in the autumn, again after supposed seasonal adjustment. In other words, he was suggesting that the ‘CSO boffins’ were not fully factoring in the seasonal effect. His comment was described as ‘stupid’, although not by you. I then rowed in with a long post defending the Minister, which pointed out that, if the Live Register followed the same pattern as last year, then he would probably be proved correct. The September figure is now out, and he has indeed been proved correct. Therefore, the label ‘stupid’ should be withdrawn by whomsoever made it.

    Failure to understand this, or to analyse last year’s Live Register pattern, is why all media reports this morning and all economists’ comments in the media this morning are describing yesterday’s 5.4k fall in the Live Register as a ‘surprise’. No surprise at all. I predicted it here in August. Expect a few more ‘surprise’ falls before the end of the year. However, at the risk of not living up to my name, I should point out that these falls will largely be the inadequate summer seasonal-adjustment working its way out of the figures, rather than real falls. Presumably, those who don’t agree with this analysis believe that there was a real fall of 5.4k in the Live Register in September, a near-record rate of fall. While it would be nice to believe this, it is far more likely to be mostly down to the inadequate summer seasonal-adjustment.

    Sometimes economists and media commentators need to get behind the figures and do some in-depth statistical analysis, then they wouldn’t be continually ‘surprised’ so much. The next big ‘surprise’ for them will be the freakishly good GDP figures for Q3, in contrast to the freakishly bad GDP figures for Q2. I confidently predict here and now that all media reports the morning after and all economists’ comments the morning after will be describing these as a ‘surprise’. “No surprise at all. I predicted it here in September” I’ll be writing then.

  14. @ JTO

    Wow. All those words about Mr. O’Cuiv and his supposedly sophisticated analysis of seasonal adjustment and not a single syllable defending the Minister’s opening line and key point: ““I think we should put in context, the figures traditionally rise, and have risen every year in the last 20 years in July.”

  15. What a joke, exporting the problem again and people dropping out of the workforce…..proper analysis would tell the full story.

    Down in Oz myself since last week and have 5 interviews lined up already!!!

  16. @Karl Whelan

    The unadjusted figures always do rise in July, and by quite a lot.

    The Minister was quite correct in stating that.

    The CSO always apply seasonal adjustment to the July rise.

    The key point, which you are avoiding, is whether or not this adjustment is any longer sufficient.

    The Minister was saying it wasn’t.

    I was saying it wasn’t.

    On the basis of that, we both predicted that the numbers would fall in the autumn, even after seasonal adjustment.

    September’s figures confirmed we were right.

    Other economists are now coming round to this point of view. Ulster Bank economist commenting on yesterday’s figures:

    “It is important to point out that the numbers we refer to above are seasonally adjusted, therefore they should not be impacted by usual developments in September such as students returning to college. However, some problems with seasonal adjustment factors cannot be ruled out.”

    Exactly what I said in August.

    If you don’t accept this, then you must believe that the fall in September of 5,400 was a real fall, and that there has been a dramatic turnaround in the labour market. I would like to believe that, but I don’t think it is the case. I think both the July rise and the September fall were almost entirely seasonal. No one can claim that the July rise was real and not seasonal, and then claim that the September fall was seasonal and not real.

  17. As I have pointed out now, numerous times before, it is irresponsible and misleading to talk about UE figures – or anything else green shoot-esque, without first achieving a zero budget deficit.

Comments are closed.