Tuesday, November 26, 2013

26/11/2013: Broader Unemployment & Underemployment in Ireland: Q3 2013


This is the first post on the QNHS results for Q3 2013, covering broader metrics of unemployment as reported by the CSO, plus the State Training Programmes (STP) participation.

Terminology first:

Per CSO data:

  • PLS1 (unemployed persons plus discouraged workers) unemployment rate stood at 13.8% down from 14.8% in Q2 2013 and 16% in Q3 2012. Compared to peak, PLS1 is now 2.4 percentage points lower. Q3 2013 rate stands at the lowest since Q4 2009.
  • PLS2 (PLS1 + Potential Additional Labour Force) rate declined from 16.2% in Q2 2013 to 15.2% in Q3 2013. The rate was 17.1 in Q3 2012. Current rate is the lowest since Q1 2010 and is down 2.1 percentage points on the peak.
  • PLS3 (PLS2 + others who want a job, not available & not seeking for reasons other than being in E/T) rate fell to 17.5% in Q3 2013 from 18.2% in Q2 2013 and is now down 1.5 percentage points on Q3 2012. PLS3 is down 1.7 percentage points on peak and is the lowest reading since Q1 2010.
  • PLS4 (PLS3 + underemployed) was at 23.5% in Q3 2013, down on 24.7% in Q2 2013 and on 25.5% in Q3 2012. Relative to peak the rate is down 2.3 percentage points and this marks the lowest reading since Q4 2010.
  • Adding State Training Programmes participation data from the CSO Live Register reports, PLS4+STP measure is now at 27.0% down on 27.8% in Q2 2013 and 28.9% in Q3 2012. Compared to peak the measure is down 1.91 percentage points and the measure is at its lowest level since Q1 2011.
  • Finally, adding estimated emigration rate, PLS4+STP rate rises to close to 28.0% in Q3 2013, down on 28.7% in Q2 2013. This is an estimate, so should be treated with caution.
Charts to illustrate and summarise:


While the above data is positive, it should be treated with some caution, as the turnaround in employment driving the above statistics is reflective of significant increases in part-time and self-employment figures. In addition, with just 4 quarters of downtrend in the series so far, the dynamics, while encouraging, are yet to be fully established.

Additional good news was provided by the Labour Force numbers:

  • Labour Force numbers rose to 2,182,100 in Q3 2013 from 2,165,800 in Q3 2012, gaining 16,300 year on year.
  • Labour force numbers were up 44,600 on crisis period trough in Q3 2013.
  • Crisis trough to pre-crisis annual average stands at 136,400. Last 12 months average relative to pre-crisis average stands at -115,450, which means we are around 2.5-3 years out from closing the gap.


Stay tuned for more analysis tomorrow.
Post a Comment