Monday, February 22, 2010

Economics 22/02/2010: Detailed analysis of Live Register

Updated (below)

CSO published its analysis of the Live Register Data for 2009 which shows some interesting details.

Per CSO data, reproduced below, the highest risk of unemployment by sector was found in:
  • Construction (with LR contribution from the sector reaching 170% of the sector own contribution to total employment);
  • Hotels and Restaurants (with Live Register contribution from the sector standing at 161% of the sector weight in overall employment);
  • Other Production Industries (136%);
  • Financial & Other Business Services (131%) and
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade (120%).
All state-dependent or provided jobs were the safest ones (see above marked in blue bold).

Update: since both Health and Education sectors are heavily reliant on public sector workers, we can consider a broader definition of the Public Sector to include the above sectors together with Public Administration & Defense. In this case, broader PS accounted for 23.1% of total employment in Q4 2008 and 6.9% of total number of new LR signees in Q1 2009, implying a 29.9% relative incidence of unemployment by sector - a number that is more than 3 times smaller than the average for the entire economy.

The above relative incidence number for the broader PS is actually biased in the direction of overstating the overall incidence of unemployment in the PS, as a number of employees who lost their jobs in Health and Education sectors were most likely from private firms providing these services.


And here is another table, also slightly adjusted by me. This time around, I am adding several categories together - people who are left on the Live Register (aka the Unemployed), people who moved from the LR to illness benefit (aka also the Unemployed), people who have retired from the Live Register to a state pension and people who are unaccounted for (aka - emigrants who left Ireland, immigrants who left Ireland and people who just dropped off Live Register into gray economy 'entrepreneurship').

Notice couple of things here - virtually the same number of foreigners and Irish who have joined LR in Q1 2009 stayed in some sort of 'Unemployment' by the end of Q2 2009. Actually, this percentage was slightly higher for the Irish LR signees, but the difference does not appear to be statistically significant.

Those over age 25 tended to remain on LR with higher probability than those who are under 25. The trick part here is that many under 25-year olds went off to training and education, dropping off the LR. One hopes they will have a job to go to, once their Fas-run courses and college programmes end.

Males were more likely to remain broadly unemployed (83.46%) than females (80.26%) but the difference is small and there are several factors here. One might wonder how the birth rate increase affects this number and also how it depends on transition to single parent family supplement. Also, younger women are more likely to undertake new training and education than younger males. Can these three factors explain the difference between men and women in re-employment rates?

Once we look at differences across sectors, one striking detail shown in the table above is that sectors with higher wages and better jobs are suffering the largest non-returns to jobs by the Live Register Signees. Table below details:
So in the nutshell - the jobs our LR signees are getting after they lose their primary occupation are of poorer quality and in less productive sectors.
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