In light of the recent statement by the IMF about Ireland's broader measure of unemployment, let's ask two other simple questions:
- How many people in Ireland receive unemployment supports?
- What percentage of the workforce in Ireland receives unemployment supports?
Answer in two charts based on latest CSO data:
A1: In March 2013, there were 425,088 individuals on Live Register and in February 2013 (the latest for which this data is available) 83,421 individuals engaged in state-sponsored training programmes that receive Live Register supports, but are not counted officially as being on Live Register. Thus total number of those in receipt of unemployment supports in Ireland is 508,509 individuals.
This means that while Live Register official numbers have declined 2.065% y/y in March, total number of Live Register supports recipients has declined only 1.355% on March 2012.
To be exactly precise on this, take February 2013 figures alone: in February 2013, total number of those in receipt of Live Register supports was 512,297 which was a decrease in y/y terms of 1.45%, against the official Live Register decrease reported of 2.40%.
A2: Using Q4 2012 data for labour force participation (reported via QNHS with a lag compared to Live Register), 27.29% of Irish labour force were in receipt of Live Register assistance in March 2013.
Again, the data is reported with different lags, so for exact comparative we have to go to December 2012 when 24.23% of Irish labour force were in receipt of Live Register assistance.
Oh, as a bonus, here's a historical chart showing Live Register supports numbers for Ireland since 1967: