Friday, June 7, 2013

7/6/2013: Live Register May 2013: Headline Trends

Live Register numbers for May 2013 were out yesterday and I am only now getting to them (busy few days speaking and dealing with students etc), so here is the first of two posts on the subject. As usual, first up: headline numbers.

-- Total number of persons on Live Register in May stood at 426,100, which is 700 down on April 2013. Y/y LR is down 2.52% and this is an improvement on 2.29% decline recorded in April 2013. To-date Q2 2013 figures are down 0.53% on Q1 2013 and down 2.58% on Q2 2012. Again, as with monthly readings, this y/y decline in Q2 2013 to-date is deeper than the decline in Q1 2013 which posted -2.29%.
-- Total number of Live Register supports recipients to-date (official number, as distinct of the actual one - see data on state training participants below) is 266,607 ahead of pre-crisis 2000-2007 average.

In the charts above, I am referencing Live Register inclusive of the State Training Programmes participants. The reason for this separate data reporting is that while they continue to receive unemployment (Live Register) benefits, they are not included in the official Live Register counts. Please note: state training programmes participation is reported with 1 month lag compared to Live Register, so the latest number we have is for April 2013, which means that combined metric for May simply incorporates May 2013 data for Live Register, plus April 2013 data for State Training Programmes participation.

  • In April 2013, there were 86,042 Live Register supports recipients who were officially engaged in State-run Training Programmes (STP). This was up 4.72% on April 2012.
  • In April 2013, m/m change in Live Register was -200, while m/m change in STP was +673. In other words, in April, entire m/m 'decrease' in the official Live Register was 3 times smaller than an increase in STP.
  • In April 2013, y/y change in official Live Register was -10,000, with 3,881 of these accounted for by increases in STP. 
  • Put differently, in April 2013, m/m there was no decrease in unemployment benefits recipients' numbers at all, and in fact there was a m.m increase in these of some 473. Also in April 2013, y/y officially-reported massive decrease of 10,000 in official Live Register was really a smaller scale (albeit still welcome) decrease of 6,119.
  • In May 2013, estimated Live Register + STP measure of unemployment benefits claimants stood at 512,142, which represents 23.96% of the labour force. Put differently, almost 1/4 of Ireland's labour force is currently in receipt of some form of unemployment assistance, which is well ahead of the official Live Register-implied estimated unemployment rate of 13.7% which would correspond to roughly 292,838 individuals.

  • The numbers of those on the Live Register under the age of 25 was stuck in May at the same level of 68,900 as in March and April 2013. This represents a decline on 69,700 recorded in February and roughly corresponds to the levels last seen in December 2008-February 2009. However, it is most likely that these numbers are superficially depressed by the STP participation. Sadly, we do not have data on STPs reported regularly by the CSO to determine the exact extent of unemployment supports in the younger population.
  • In May 2013, 16.17% of all Live Register supports recipients were under 25.
  • Y/y, number of younger LR recipients was down 7.27% and so far in Q2 2013 the number is down on average 7.48% on Q2 2012.

Per CSO: "The number of long term claimants on the Live Register in May 2013 was 191,997." Overall, the number of long term claimants increased by 3,268 (+1.7%) y/y, while the proportion of the short-term claimants dropped to 54.5% (229,740) from 56.4% (244,178). This suggests that, as would be normally expected, short-term unemployed are finding it easier to find jobs than their longer term counterparts, and that, potentially, this effect is being reinforced by accelerating exits of the long-term unemployed due to benefits expiration.

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