Friday, September 16, 2011

16/09/2011: QNHS 2Q 2011 - things are getting frighteningly worse less rapidly

This is the first of two posts on QNHS 2Q 2011 data released yesterday.

Yesterday's QNHS results for 2Q 2011 confirmed the continuation in the trend weaknesses in Irish labour markets, with some moderation in the rate of deterioration qoq.

Per CSO: "There was an annual decrease in employment of 2.0% or 37,800 in the year to the second quarter of 2011, bringing total employment to 1,821,300. This compares with an annual decrease in employment of 2.9% in the previous quarter and a decrease of 4.1% in the year to the second quarter of 2010."

Other core stats and changes are:
  • The annual decrease in employment of 2.0% is the lowest annual decline since 3Q 2008.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, employment fell by 3,200 (-0.2%) in the quarter. This follows on from a seasonally adjusted fall in employment of 7,200 (-0.4%) in Q1 2011. The 2Q 2011 fall in employment is the lowest quarterly decrease recorded in the seasonally adjusted series since 1Q 2008.
  • The largest decrease in employment over the year was recorded for the 25-34 year age group (-27,500 or -5.0%). A reduction of 21,100 was also recorded for the 20-24 age group (-15.0%). Numbers in employment are now down 324,900 on the peak attained in 4Q 2007.
The total number of persons in the labour force in 2Q 2011 was 2,125,900, representing a decrease of 26,800 (-1.2%) over the year. This compares with an annual labour force decrease of 50,400 (-2.3%) in Q2 2010. This marks a decrease of 128,500 on the peak reached back in 1Q 2008.

Unemployment rose 10,900 (+3.7%) in the year to 2Q 2011 with 304,500 now unemployed (male unemployment increasing by 5,600 (+2.8%) to 205,700 and female unemployment increasing by 5,200 (+5.6%) to 98,800). The unemployment rate increased from 13.6% to 14.3% yoy in 2Q 2011.

The long-term unemployment rate increased from 5.9% to 7.7% over the year to Q2 2011. Long-term unemployment accounted for 53.9% of total unemployment in Q2 2011 compared with 43.3% a year earlier and 21.7% in the second quarter of 2009.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 13.9% to 14.2% over the quarter.
Full-time employment fell by 53,000 (-3.7%) yoy with declines in both male (-33,700) and female (-19,300) full-time employment. Per CSO: "This decline in full-time employment was partially offset by an increase in the number of part-time workers where the numbers increased by 15,200 (+3.7%) over the year. Part-time employment now accounts for 23.4% of total employment. This had been as low as 16.7% in Q3 2006." Full-time employment is now down 367,600 on peak (4Q 2007) and part-time employment is now at its new peak at 426,800 - up 40,800 on 4Q 2007.

Part-time underemployment (a form of unemployment, really) increased by 23,000 (+20.9%) from 110,100 to 133,100 over the year. Part-time underemployment now represents just under one-third (31.3%) of total part-time employment, up from 26.8% a year earlier. Among males, part-time underemployment is close to half of total part-time employment (46.7%), up from approximately 42% a year earlier. For females the comparative proportion is one quarter (25.0%), but as with males this proportion has been increasing over time.

Now to the frightening number: combined unemployed and underemployed part-timers now stand at a frightening 434,700 or 20.5% of the labor force. This number is up from 400,300 a year ago (+8.6%).

So, on the net we have:
  • flattening out of the unemployment increases curve, but continued increases, nonetheless
  • flattening out of labor force decreases rate, but continued declines in labor force
  • increasing share of employment taken up by part-time employed
  • increasing share of long-term unemployed and underemployed in the labor force.

And LR confirms this diagnosis:
It's not exactly 'turning the corner' moment, is it?

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