Selected Unemployment Rates

Although there are some problems with the aggregate figures estimated by the CSO from the Quarterly National Household Survey, the percentages provided by the survey have continued validity.  In these cases we can expect that the ‘missing’ 97,000 people who were ‘found’ by the Census will affect both the numerator and denominator. 

Here are some unemployment rates from the first quarter of 2006 up to the second quarter of 2011.  The rates are provided by gender, age, region, education and nationality.  When making overall judgements the size and the labour force participation rate of each group should also be considered but those are not the focus here.

1. Overall unemployment rate

2. Unemployment rate by gender

3. Unemployment rate by age

4. Unemployment rate by education

5. Unemployment rate by region

6. Unemployment rate by nationality

34 thoughts on “Selected Unemployment Rates”

  1. Pretty DIRE …

    Adding the Eden Park Crowd to the 20-35 age group here + a good few elsewhere …. and we get

    THE LOST GENERATION … denied even a vote in the upcoming presidential election.

    Long term male unemployment at 10% is socially and psychologically pretty horrendous …

  2. These graphs do not show any of the former self employed now unemployed who’s “S” stamp does not entitle them to any benefits whatsoever. Neither, does it show young people earning a hundred or a hundred and fifty Euro’s a week for a few hours work who are not signing on because their parents protect them from the ignominy of welfare. The figures are massaged to death the onward and upward trend is confirmed by the length and permanency of unemployment.

    Meanwhile, at the current epicenter of the crisis “The Greek Finance Minister is expected to propose historical cuts to workers and pay in the public sector and the closing of surplus government offices. Public sector workers in Greece are appointed for life, and the rumours of the possibility of redundancies have been met with outrage from citizens and politicians alike.”

    All good things must come to an end, even a Croke Park mirage. How long will it be before Ireland is ordered to do the inevitable? The mood is changing on the street to one of disgust and open revolt against government apartheid on the jobs front but Enda and Eamon have not twigged that the game is changing before their very eyes.

  3. Seamus — I salute you for your ability to bring great charts to the famously graphics-averse IE blog. But then you are one of the few who now understand the horrors of the dreaded plain vanilla WordPress software we proletarian bloggers labour under.

    😆

  4. Young males, lilkely tempted out of school by temporarily high wages in construction, are getting hammered.

    We’re not exactly a world leader in treating depression/psychological ailments either.

    Sad as hell.

  5. I join with Karl Whelan in congratulating Seamus on his patience with the chore of uploading graphics on this site!

    Two substantive points:

    1. Employment rates have fallen even faster than unemployment rates have risen, especially among males. The ‘discouraged worker’ effect is very pronounced.

    2. During the boom there was a marked convergence of employment/unemployment rates, notably across regions. From Seamus’s fifth graph it seems that the spread between regions has widened during the recession

  6. Would a graph showing the total number of people in employment perhaps help us find out how many have stopped working- i.e. include the self employed and emigrants? Could it also be possible to have numbers who have retired and also entered work (young new entrants). This figure would more accurately reflect the depth of the recession

  7. Thanks Seamus

    The prospects for younger persons without 3rd level qualifications are manifestly dire. Only the transfer payment system stands between them and penury, and that is going to come under attack.

    We are back to the 80s, but the corrosive effect of long term unemployment is consistently evaded in the mainstream media. The elephant in the room.
    As the saying goes, watch this space.

  8. @John Foody
    “Young males, lilkely tempted out of school by temporarily high wages in construction, are getting hammered.”
    That’s what I thought too, initially, but I’m not sure if it makes sense. Three years plus since the property bust. An age group of 15-19 with an unemployment rate still rising. Who is being tempted by construction wages these days?

    I think the ‘being tempted out of school’ story is not true – there was a time where it mattered less if young men failed out, that time is gone. Why is it still happening?

  9. Robert Browne,

    as these graphs are based on the QNHS, and not on the Live Register, then they should include both groups that you refer to.

    Former self-employed not entitled to JSB should be captured by the QNHS.

    “Neither, does it show young people earning a hundred or a hundred and fifty Euro’s a week for a few hours work who are not signing on because their parents protect them from the ignominy of welfare.”

    As long as these young people tell the CSO interviewer the truth, then their employment status should be captured by the QNHS.

  10. It appears that post-leaving cert courses are worse than useless based on these statistics as people with a higher secondary education fare better than them. I can’t say a PLC qualification would impress me if I were considering employing somebody so I am not that surprised. Are unpaid internships a better option than unpaid PLC’s that have to be funded?

  11. Given the almost exclusive focus of this blog in recent times on the banking crisis, the bailout, and the wider issue of the future of the eurozone, it is to be commended that data on the personal and social consequences of political, regulatory and economic failure are featured here. The increase in unemployment and particularly long-term unemployment has been relentless and the data also show the growing marginalisation of workers with low levels of educational attainment (Graph 4). Taken in the context of the large decrease in full-time employment in the private sector and the stasis and lack of commitment in public policy to actually creating employment, the future for the current cohort of the long-term unemployed is bleak and their situation is among the real manifestations of so-called austerity.

    On a small point, my understanding is that the self-employed are included in the QNHS figures to the extent that they define themselves as available for and actively looking for work at the time of the survey. It is true to say, however, that they are unlikely to be included in Live Register figures – unless they qualify for the means tested Jobseekers Allowance.

  12. @zhou_enlai
    “It appears that post-leaving cert courses are worse than useless based on these statistics as people with a higher secondary education fare better than them.”
    I took these to be FAS courses and the like. Given the preponderance of buildery-type stuff – the trades etc. – that these entailed, it’s hardly surprising that they show up badly.

  13. Definitely a case of a picture being worth a thousand words. The long-term unemployed make up 53.9% of the total now, I don’t think this can get enough attention.

  14. 2 points re an idea for positive discrimination

    1. The Young.
    Not content with spending the future earnings of the young via increasing levels of public debt, the middle aged are also denying young people anything close to equal opportunities in the Jobs market. Same as it ever was. But always worse in a recession. Half of Job bridge should be restricted to 18-24 year olds.
    2. The South East
    I was in Waterford City last year and having lived there in the past I have to say, although the recession is hitting everywhere some places are getting hit worse than others. Waterford City seems to be getting hit in a disproportionate way due to its reliance on a small number of Large Companies which have closed. Add Talk Talk to the list. Any Jobbridge posts in the south east should have the full €250 paid by the state.

  15. @ Danny Haskins

    Civillian employment in Q2 2011 was 15.2% below its peak in Q4 2007 (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

  16. Also don’t these stats show that Joan Burtons comments re “social welfare as a life style choice” just don’t add up.
    Isnt it amazing that people are only making this “lifestyle choice” when there are not enough jobs in the economy? Why was the long term unemployed at 2% and unemployment at 4% (full employment) until the economic crisis? Why did virtually no one make this lifestyle choice when social welfare was actually higher between 2006-2008?

  17. @zhou-enlai

    “Are unpaid internships a better option than unpaid PLC’s that have to be funded?”

    It’s an interesting point – and certainly better to be learning within a real life situation as it were than on a course – but having observed an increasing use of interns over the past two years in clients of mine (I acknowldge, restricted view that it is – the financial services industry), my observations are:

    – it seems to be wide open to abuse (in many different ways)
    – most interns are practically working for free they are so desperate (not even given their bus fare)
    – there’s work to be done alright – as employees get their marching orders and leave on the Friday and then a coujple of interns come in within a week to do the role/plug the gap as the line manager realises his area can’t cope and then later, replaced by another intern as their time is up
    -in many cases, very little thought is put into the programme for an individual and what they get out of it (just give them ‘something to do’)
    – I’ve met an awful lot who are relatives of the senior management team
    – HR treat them like cattle

    And I hate to say it but on the other side of the coin, most of the interns I have met are a workshy bunch who want lots of money (and fame for some of them) without having to do too much for it. The central plank of their conversation is Facebook (except for this week when it’s been rugby/all Ireland) and they seem to have little interest in what’s going on in the wider world. Perhaps providing internships is ‘intervening’ too late in their lives – we should start at junior infants? You just get this feeling they are permanently ‘drifting’ like a rudderless ship.

    If it could be well structured and maybe persuade the employer to pick up the welfare payment tab then maybe it could improve.

    Hang on a minute… isn’t that what the coalition government said they were doing? Can’t see much evidence.

  18. @ Karl/Brendan

    Uploading graphs to this site does involve a few extra steps than I’m used to elsewhere. The main issue is that you have to put them online first and then link to them rather than just add them directly to the post from the PC.

    I do not use the WordPress interface to compose posts (or Blogger for that matter on another site). Instead I use Windows Live Writer which is a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get). It is not too different from using Word and is particularly good for handling links, pictures and even tables. The software then does the HTML conversion when it publishes the post to the site.

  19. @ Danny Haskins

    The total figures you are looking for are available but will not be finalised until the CSO have ploughed through the full Census results and determined what to do with the 97,000 people that have to be added to their population estimates. This process will change the figures for the numbers employed and unemployed.

    As it stands the figures show that employment peaked at 2.15 million in Q3 2007 and has fallen to 1.82 million by Q2 2011 – a drop of nearly 330,000. Over the same period unemployment rose from 103,300 to 304,000 – a rise of just over 200,000.

    There is a difference of around 130,000 between the fall in employment and the rise in unemployed. Using the current figures that is one-third exlained by Irish nationals and two-thirds by non-Irish nationals.

    For Irish nationals there was a 217,000 drop in employment and a 174,800 increase in unemployment. The reasons for the difference are likely to be retirement, return to education, leaving the workforce or leaving the country. For non-Irish nationals there was a 111,300 fall in employment but only a 26,400 rise in unemployment. It is likely the main cause here is people leaving employment and subsequently leaving the country.

    I would be wary of putting too much weight on these figures until the CSO has completed its revisions using the complete Census data which we can expect by this time next year.

  20. Interesting to see unemployment is worse in the South East than the West .

    I think more people in the West go on to third level . It appears to be related to the quality of the farmland.

    @ Hogan

    110526 “There was some praise from the OECD for the Government’s jobs initiative yesterday, with Mr Lenain describing efforts to regain control of the public finances as “remarkable”.
    However, he was critical of State training programmes, saying bluntly that the Government should stop spending money on training people for the construction sector.”

  21. @ PR guy

    “Junior infants” is such an Irishism
    I always think think it sounds like a GAA competition.
    It’s supposed to be more formal than “low babies”,
    another peculiar term.

  22. @Seamus
    Perhaps FAS could put on a course to teach us how to follow your instructions for uploading on this site …..

  23. @zhou_enlai

    “It appears that post-leaving cert courses are worse than useless based on these statistics as people with a higher secondary education fare better than them. ”

    That’s FÁS for you. Remember this from ESRI’s review of the National Employment Activation Plan:

    Comparing the outcomes of those who were referred for a FÁS interview under the NEAP, including both those who attended and those who did not attend the interview, with a control group of those who were not referred, it was found that the NEAP was associated with a negative impact, with the chances of entering employment being about 17 per cent lower for those who went through the interview process. This suggests that the interview element of the NEAP was an ineffective route to employment.

    http://www.esri.ie/news_events/latest_press_releases/activation_in_ireland_an_/index.xml

    It’s almost as if they want to keep people jobseeking…

  24. It is interesting to consider the effect of the freeze on public sector recruitment on youth unemployment.

    As far as I understand it about 350,000 people work in the public sector – about 1 in 5/6.

    If we stop recruiting here it has an effect on the number of vacancies available for young people.

    From the above graphs it looks like young people have suffered disproportionately from the increase in unemployment.

    There has been quite abit of talk of liberalisation of certain sheltered sectors – the taxi industry is a place where it has happened – the number of barristers has also increased many times over.

    While each of these liberalisations is to be welcomed it is in my view important to remember that by allowing the single largest protected labour group to restrict entry and competition for jobs you increase competition and entry in other job markets.

    Increased job security for some is in part paid for by reduced job opportunities and job security for others – most notably outsiders like the unemployed and the young.

    The state, as a very large employer, must accept that its actions have an effect on the labour market, and have an effect on the prospects and living standards, not only of people who work for the public sector, but also of those who don’t. For that reason, the state, when it acts as an employer, owes a duty to the broader labour market and not just the people currently employed by it.

    Freezing recruitment is a blunt tool for reducing the cost / numbers in the public sector that favours those already in employment over those seeking employment. It is a policy that disregards the state’s duty to the young and unemployed.

    Liberalisation of sheltered sectors may be a good thing to do – but to simultaneously ignore the elephant in the corner – liberalisation of public sector employment – is to ignore the area where the largest benefit can be achieved.

    If the public sector was to pay market clearing wages in the public sector it could afford to provide a greater amount of public services for teh same cost and provide a greater level of employment for the same cost.

    I would guesstimate 50,000 young and/or unemployed could be hired at the same cost. That’s a real waste and a real loss to those not hired

  25. @christy

    I agree with the general sentiment of your post but “the number of barristers has also increased many times over”?

    If that were the case, surely we would see more wondering around the Four Courts and fees would have come down dramatically by now as more barristers chase the same pot of gold?

    I have a close relative who’s a barrister and I asked him just now and he said he’s not aware of any discernable increase and he can’t afford for fees to come down as he has all four of his children at the most expensive private school in the land for the next few years and that really wouldn’t do.

    @seafóid

    “Junior infants” is such an Irishism

    Er, what am I supposed to call them? Young protégé/protégées? Minor students? Shupils (short pupils)?

    It’s the only thing I’ve ever heard them called – by people inside and outside the education system. I clearly need to get out more.

  26. Has there ever been a detailed ‘human capital’ register of the unemployed ? One showing age, experience (and industry), education and some skills. this would be an extremely useful public policy tool, not merely for the State, but prospecttive/employers also.

  27. @PR Guy

    The numbers of barristers has increased significantly – I think there is about 2,500 now – many times more per person than in England and wales

  28. How is the denominator arrived in Graph 6, unemployment by Nationality.
    Is the total worforce by nationality estimated? And how accurate are such estimates?

    What is ‘discouraged worker’? Is that measured by a fall in the participation rate?

    Surely it is better to spend money finishing partially completed ghost estates, than sloughing off a generation of youth from normal societal living?

  29. @ Christy

    ‘Freezing recruitment is a blunt tool for reducing the cost / numbers in the public sector that favours those already in employment over those seeking employment. It is a policy that disregards the state’s duty to the young and unemployed’

    Yes but it’s the path of least resistance and hence politically easy. As is reducing pay and pensions for incoming workers, whome don’t know they’re going to be workers and hence are far less likely to object.

    The reality of it is that in our current situation any reduction in the cost of the civil service would be swollowed up by the need to reduce the deficit.

    Though, as the mass emigration of young people hasn’t yet transpired (though was probably hoped for) perhaps we will see some social unrest among the group that will make youth unemployment as big an issue as avoiding potential financial/social meltdown or ‘curing’ negative equity with a mgic bullet.

    @ Desmond Brennan
    ‘Has there ever been a detailed ‘human capital’ register of the unemployed ? One showing age, experience (and industry), education and some skills. this would be an extremely useful public policy tool, not merely for the State, but prospecttive/employers also’

    What would be great is if all qualifications obtained in the state were attributed to your PPS number say, with depersonalized stats available to academia/public and ‘offical’ data available to perspective employers upon request from you. Like an offical CV. A bit on the ‘1984’ side of things I know but it would be a great tool.

    @ hoganmahew

    ‘Three years plus since the property bust. An age group of 15-19 with an unemployment rate still rising. Who is being tempted by construction wages these days?’

    I would say very few, I’d guess that those already unemployed are predominantly young casualities from the construction sector. The construction employment figures below seem to tally with that, showing the start of the downward trend, a 15% drop, between 07 and 08, the same time male unemployment went up 100%. With those in the workforce with lower secondary education also doubling in the same period and the long term unemployed doubling the year after that.

    http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

    ’99 ’00 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08
    94.2 100.0 101.7 99.3 99.8 103.2 107.0 109.6 107.5 90.7

    Perhaps some were tempted out at Junior Cert level when they intended to do the leaving. I’d imagine now the options for people are farm related (if dad/mum has one), toursist related service sector or 3rd level.

    No more breakfast role economy (local service industry), construction industy/apprenticeships or civil service to obsorb anyone who doesn’t like and/or isn’t suited to school.

  30. These graphs present the strongest case for currency devaluation and leaving the fixed exchange rate regime of the Euro.
    Otherwise the ECB has got to change structurally, shift its mission more to stimulating growth from controlling inflation. Also it needs to chnage its decision making and executive board recruiting structure. The Irish central bank has minimum imput into decision making there and an Irish person will/can not be considered for the empty place on the board when Stark leaves.
    Who can change the ECBs structure and mission? Isn’t it supposed to be independent? How can it be stopped?

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