Friday, June 8, 2012

8/6/2012: QNHS Q1 2012: Irish broader unemployment metrics


In previous blog posts I covered core results from QNHS, sectoral decomposition of QNHS, and public sector numbers. This post will focus on broader measures of unemployment.

CSO reports seasonally unadjusted data for part time employment that disaggregates part-time employees into those considered to be underemployed and employed. Those considered to be underemployed are individuals who hold part time employment, but are willing and available to work additional hours (new definition).


At the end of Q1 2012 there were 282,600 individuals who were working part time but did not report themselves to be underemployed - a number below 283,300 in Q4 2011 and well below 304,800 in Q1 2011. At the same time, 135,200 individuals were reported as underemployed - down from 141,500 in Q4 2011 and up on 121,900 in Q1 2011. In fact, Q1 2012 marked absolute record for any Q1 since the series started. Keeping in mind that it is seasonally unadjusted series, y/y comparatives are what matters. In Q1 2012, annual rate of increase in underemployed was 10.9% down from 18% in Q1 2011 and up on 5.2% in Q1 2010. Since the crisis began, the number of those underemployed rose 3,458% - that's right - almost 35-fold.

The chart below shows only those underemployed as defined under new methodology.


Combining unemployed and under-employed we have:


Which implies that our 'dependency' ratio - the ratio of full-time employees to total adult population of 15 years and older is still rending down, having already reached a new all time low in Q1 2012:


While traditional seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate is now at 14.7%, combined unemployed, underemployed and marginally attached to labour force ratio to the labour force - or what I term a broad unemployment rate is now 21.94%, up on 21.76% in Q4 2011 and 20.77% in Q1 2011.


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