Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Economics 1/9/10: Live Register

Live Register came in with no surprise - a moderate increase in the calm of August was so predictable, my forecast for unemployment to reach 13.8% in August made back in May came in bang on.

Here are few charts and some analysis.
Per chart above, seasonally adjusted LR rose from 452,500 in July to 455,000 in August, an increase of 2,500. Added cost to the Exchequer - ca €63mln per annum. Added cost to the economy - 2.5 times that. Added cost to the society - much greater than the latter. Added cost to those who lost their jobs and their families - incalculably high.

So far, year on year to August 2010 there was an unadjusted increase in the Live Register of
30,198 (+6.9%). This compares with an increase of 34,403 (+8.0%) in the year to July 2010. Now, that doesn't look like a stabilization to me.

There was an increase of 700 males and 1,900 females in the seasonally adjusted series in August. Which means services are tanking faster than manufacturing.

The average net weekly increase in the seasonally adjusted series in August 2010 was 625, which compares with a weekly increase of 1,700 in the previous month. Chart below illustrates
Both monthly and weekly increases are now below 6 months moving average lines, both of which are still trending up. Momentum suggests moderate mean reversion in September/October. Which brings us to unemployment levels.
Standardised unemployment rate in August was 13.8%, and all indications are it will continue to rise.

Finally, charting the changes together:

My suggestion that latest breakdown between men and women joining LR shows jobs destruction in services sectors is supported by the CSO analysis of detailed data.

Overall,
  • Craft and related (25.5%) was the largest occupational group on the Live Register in August,
  • Plant and machine operatives (15.4%) second largest, followed by
  • Personal and protection service (10.7%) and
  • Clerical and secretarial (10.7%).
Six of the nine occupational groups showed monthly Live Register increases in August:
  • Largest percentage increase was in the Professional group (+1.2%)
In the six months to August 2010 Professional (+26.8%) group also showed the largest increase, followed by Clerical and secretarial (+14.6%) and Sales (+ 11.9%). The smallest percentage increase was in the Managers and administrators group (+1.0%).

Per CSO: "There were increases in six of the nine occupational groups in the six months to August for males on the Live Register. The largest percentage increase was in the Associate, professional and technical group (+12.0%), with the largest decreases in the Managers and administrators and Personal and protective service groups (both -0.8%). For females there were increases in all occupational groups in the six months to August 2010. The largest percentage increase was in the Professional group (+43.3%) followed by the Other occupation group (+25.8%)."

Live Register duration also rose, for males and females in 6 months to August 2010, suggesting severe pressures in the jobs market continue.

Of greater interest will bee changes in the labor force participation - to be shown in QNHS results. I suspect we will see severe contraction in overall number of people working or seeking work in the country.
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