Headline figures are mildly encouraging. In February 2011 there were 444,299 people on the Live Register an increase of 7,343 (+1.7%) yoy. This compares with an increase of 5,741 (+1.3%) in the year to January 2011 and an increase of 84,503 (+24.0%) in the year to February 2010.
On a seasonally adjusted basis there was a decrease of 1,700 on the Live Register in 2011. M decrease of 5,800 was recorded in January 2011.
Overall the Live Register has now fallen by 10,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis since its peak in August/September 2010.
Let's update some charts:
To put the LR changes into perspective, consider weekly average changes:
and monthly averages:
Live Register-implied unemployment rate (pretty good measure of unemployment) is now at 13.5% - same as in January:
Now to some numbers in more detail:
- Year on year January 2011 saw increase in LR of 19,300. This has fallen back to 17,800 in February;
- In percentage terms, yoy change in LR in January was +4.522%, which eased to +4.150% in February
- For 25+ year olds, January LR increased by 10,000 year on year (+2.879%), while February increase was 11,300 (+3.272%) - so things are getting better here, but by only 600 mom
- For <25 year olds, January 2011 saw a decrease in numbers of 3,400 (-3.908%) yoy, but February decrease was 2,600 yoy (or -3.055%) - an improvement mom of 1,100
- Casual and part-time employment increased 5,770 in February (yoy) or +7.277% against an increase of 6,369 in January (+8.286%) - or mom increase of 1,827 (more people taking part time and casual work than the seasonally adjusted drop in overall LR)
- Non-nationals accounted for 79,162 of the total LR count against nationals with 365,137. So non-nationals count increased 635 month on month in February, while nationals saw an increase of 987.
- Non-nationals LR signees numbers fell 2,868 yoy in January (-3.524%) and by 2,104 (-2.589%) in February
- Nationals signees numbers increased 8,609 yoy in in January and 9,447 in February
- The above points on nationals v non-nationals signees imply rather rampant emigration or outflow from the labour force of non-nationals.
All of the decrease in the seasonally adjusted series over the last six months has been recorded for males.
One core problem has been the increasing duration on LR. Month on month, February saw an increase of 2,413 males and 858 females (total of 3,271) of signees on the LR for a year or longer. This contrasts with decreases of 2,610 males and and increase of 961 females with duration under 1 year. This suggests that the unemployment is, predictably, sticky for earlier LR signees.
Finally, separate figures released today by the Dept of Enterprise, Trade & Innovation show that notified redundancies were down 44% year on year in February. In addition, as reported earlier, PMIs for Manufacturing have signaled for the third month running that employers are starting to add jobs in the sector. These two developments suggest that barring some significant shocks, LR is now stabilizing and possibly reverting to a shallow downward trend. This trend, however, still appears to be driven by exits and emigration, rather than jobs creation.