Together with the recent data on our consumer price level, relative to the rest of the EU, they show (as if there were any doubt on the matter) that even in small, open, flexible Ireland, the current poster boy for the EU’s preferred austerity/internal devaluation strategy, wage and price flexibility — while impressive — isn’t what certain macro theories assume it to be.
“This does not indicate that unemployment is on a downward path, and only reverses the surprise rise in the fourth quarter,” said National Irish Bank’s chief economist Dr Ronnie O’Toole.
“However, it does indicate that the labour market is very close to stabilising, with half of all industry categories showing year-on-year increases in employment. These increases, however, were not large enough to offset the continued loss of jobs in hospitality and construction.”
These are really awful numbers (H/T Eurointelligence).
The IBEC submission for next weeks “jobs budget” is available at this link. Details include suggestions on extra data collection, changes to the FIS scheme, national internship programmes, sectoral-specific recommendations in areas like energy and farming, change to bankruptcy laws and a loan guarantee scheme.
The Live Register figures for March are out.
The standardised unemployment rate in March was 14.7%, unchanged from February. This compares with the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 14.7% from the Quarterly National Household Survey in the fourth quarter of 2010, and an annual average of 13.6% for 2010.
By way of comparison, the baseline forecast for 2011 unemployment in the Central Bank’s PCAR macroeconomic scenario is 13.4%. In the adverse scenario, this rises to 14.9%. We are almost there, and it is only March.
At least the Central Bank scenarios got the 2010 unemployment numbers right! This contrasts with their 2010 GDP numbers, as Dan O’Brien pointed out earlier in the week.
(And I admit that I am baffled by an adverse house price scenario that is not robust to the ‘What if Morgan Kelly is right?’ objection.)