ESRI QEC Research Notes

Last week the latest ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary was published. It includes 5 research notes including one by myself on the regional dimension of the unemployment crisis.

While there is a lot of discussion about unemployment, the differences across regions have not received much attention. The note shows that the differences are significant. It also shows that things would look a lot worse if it had not been for a drop in labour force participation – in the Border region the unemployment rate could have reached 27%. Not surprisingly a sharp drop in employment is the major cause of the increase in unemployment, but a look at the sectoral breakdown of employment changes gives some interesting results. Firstly, construction employment appears to have contracted quite uniformly across the country. Secondly, employment in education and health actually grew. Thirdly, there are some interesting differences across the regions with respect to other sectors. For example, manufacturing declined much more in Dublin than elsewhere. Most importantly the analysis suggests that the underlying factors that are responsible for the differences in unemployment rates across the regions are very persistent but were hidden during the boom. You can expect some more analysis on this in the near future.

The other notes are:
Tax and Taxable Capacity: Ireland in Comparative Perspective
Comparing Public and Private Sector Pay in Ireland: Size Matters
Trends in Consumption since the Crisis
Revisions to Population, Migration and the Labour Force, 2007-2011

By Edgar Morgenroth

Professor of Economics at Dublin City University Business School

6 replies on “ESRI QEC Research Notes”

The pobal site has data on deprivation broken down by “small area” according to their depravation index with data for 06 and 2011 and more.

The outer Dublin commuter zones eg Westmeath , Biffostan and Longford are doing a lot of the internal devaluation heavy lifting.

I posted this last July but worth posting again ….

SEVEN of the country’s ten worst unemployment blackspots are in Limerick city according to new figures published by the Central Statistics Office.

The figures, which were collated from last year’s Census show that Saint Mary’s Park and O’Malley Park are the only two areas in the country where more than half the working population are unemployed.

According to the figures, 55.8% of adults in the John’s A electoral division, which encompasses St Mary’s Park, stated they were unemployed when the Census was conducted in April 2011.

Meanwhile, 55.2% of adults in the Galvone B electoral division, (O’Malley Park) said they were not working.

The Ballynanty (47.2%), Rathbane (46.5%) electoral divisions also feature in the list of the country’s top five unemployment blackspots.

The figures show that Limerick city has a total of 17 umeployment blackspots – which the highest for any local authority area in the country.

Other electoral divisions listed as being unemployment blackspots include Prospect A (46.4%) Glentworth C (46.1%), Abbey C (44.7%), John’s B (43.3%), Kileely A (42.7) and Shannon B (41.9%).

In addition to having the highest number of uneployment blackspots, the Census figures also reveal that Limerick city as a whole had the highest unemployment rate in the country in April 2011 at 28.6%.

Ireland’s Success Story!

Keep up the work – we have enough on banks here and focus on ‘people’ is welcome.

Table 3; I find this puzzling.

Why should employment fall by such large percentages in the category ‘Agriculture/Forestry/fishing?

I don’t dispute the facts, but why should this be? I can understand why unemployment could rise in this sector, due to owners/sons/daughters returning to work the farms, thereby making part-time workers redundant.

However I do suspect that there a good actual reason for the fall, based on anecdotal evidence from the Mid-West region (where I reside).

I am aware of several part-time forestry workers who are getting far less employment in the planting season and speak of clear-felling of trees with no planting being done. It would interesting to ask Coillte for the two key figures in tree husbandry:
Hectares harvested and hectares planted each year since 2000.
It should be easy to translate the hectares planted into required man-years and to analyse the results.

@David O’Donnell – yes Limerick City stands out. For completeness, there are two electoral districts in Galway County and one in Waterford City in the ‘top 10’ unemployment black spots. John’s A in Limerick city has been among the worst 10 unemployment black spots since at least 1991.
@Joseph Ryan – employemnet in agriculture, forestry and fishing has been declining consistently for a long time. This is largely demographic – as older farmers retire or die they are not replaced 1:1 by younger ones. The forestry issue you alert to is propably only a small contributary factor.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs published the Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2012, which will be an annual publication.
The report can be accessed on the Expert Group’s website:

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