In the first two posts covering the QNHS results for Q4 2014, I discussed
- Labour Force Participation Rate (poor news showing decline in the already historically low participation) and Unemployment Rate (goods news with unemployment - absent seasonal adjustment falling to 9.9% and the rate of decline in unemployment on quarterly basis accelerating): http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/02/25215-qnhs-q4-2014-labour-force.html
- The size of labour force (which is worrying and static at and around crisis trough) and broader measures of unemployment (at high enough levels to arrant concern, but declining rapidly, although inclusive of the state training programmes participants and emigration figures the declines are shallower than across the officially reported numbers), here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/02/25215-qnhs-q4-2014-broader-measures-of.html
Now, let's take a look at employment.
Total employment across all sectors stood at 1,938,900 in Q4 2014, up 1.52% y/y - a rate of increase that is slightly faster than 1.45% rise y/y recorded in Q3 2014. In level terms, employment rose 29,100 in 12 months through the end of 2014. Taking annual average, employment over 2014 rose 1.74% compared to 2013 average level of employment.
Despite this, Q2 2014 employment was still down 2.88% on crisis period peak employment although it is 6.24% above the crisis period trough. Relative to 2008 average, current employment levels are down 8.9%.
In simple term, to sum this result up, things are improving, but they are far from normal or where they should be.
Stripping out agriculture and public sector, private sector non-agricultural employment stood at 1,335,400 in Q4 2014, up 2.6% y/y, beating 1.32% rise in the same over 12 months through Q3 2014. In level terms, employment in non-agricultural private sectors rose 33,900, beating the headline total employment figures - a major good news.
Nonetheless, compared to 2008 average, private sector non-agricultural employment remains down 13.19%, while public sector (including sectors dominated by public employment) employment is up 4.8%.
As chart above shows, total employment is doing well, rising to the levels that are above the pre-crisis average and close to the difference between Q3 and Q4 2009. However, private non-agricultural employment is lagging, current at the levels well below pre-crisis average and between Q4 2009 - Q1 2010 levels.
Public and state-controlled sectors employment rose to 487,600 in Q4 2014, up 1.24% y/y (slower growth than in Q3 2014 when it expanded by 2.33% y/y), adding 6,100 jobs. Full year 2014 average employment levels here are 1.13% higher than full 2013 average. Q4 reading marks the highest level of non-private non-agricultural employment for the entire crisis period and is 4.8% above the 2008 average.
Meanwhile, agricultural employment shrunk 9.33% y/y in Q4 2014, having posted a decline of 0.81% y/y in Q3 2014. Loss of employment in the sector in 12 months through the end of Q4 2014 was 10,900, which was most likely partially responsible for gains of 13,100 in construction jobs. Still, over 12 months of 2014, agricultural employment levels were averaging 2.08% above the same for 2013.
Chart above shows basically flat employment in the state and state-controlled sectors, which, when contrasted with official public sector employment figures suggests shift of some public sector jobs from state to private contracting.
High value-added sectors also added jobs in Q4 2014, with 14,000 new jobs additions y/y a rate of employment growth of 2.03% y/y, virtually identical to 2.02% growth recorded in Q3 2014. As with state-controlled sectors employment, employment in high value-added sectors posted peak reading in Q4 2014 for the entire crisis period and stood 6.56% above 2008 average.
Table below provides summary of changes in employment across all sectors reported:
To summarise, we have healthy employment growth of 29,100 over 12 months of 2014 and the rate of growth has accelerated between Q3 and Q4. However, some sectors did post declines y/y in Q4 2014 and some posted weak performance to the upside. Good news is: private non-agricultural employment is rising faster than total employment and the rate of employment growth here accelerated in Q4 2014. High value-added sectors employment is also rising, at a rate faster than the overall employment is increasing.