Saturday, September 17, 2011

17/09/2011: QNHS 2Q 2011 - public sector v private sector trends

This is the second post on the data from QNHS for 2Q 2011.

Table below summarises data from QNHS results, showing changes for specific sectors of the economy as well as core figures for overall employment, labor force and unemployment.
Using the data from core QNHS we can compute decomposition of employment pool into three broadly defined subsectors, as shown below. The core trends here are the following:
Ratio of private sector employees to those employed in public sector now stands at ca 2.76 private sector workers per 1 public sector employee. Sacred yet? That ratio rose from 2.73 in (an improvement, in fact) qoq between 1Q 2011 and 2Q 2011, but is down from 2.78 in 2Q 2010 and 3.00 in 2Q 2009. In other words, there are fewer private sector employees now per each public sector employee than in either 2010 or 2009 or indeed in 2008 and so on.

The same is true across the specific sectors. There are more people in employment in education per private sector worker now than 2007-2010, there are more people employed in public administration per private sector worker now than in 2007-2010, there are more people employed in healthcare per person employed in private sector today than in any moment since 1Q 2004. This, after the allegedly savage cuts in numbers in public sector employment.

QNHS also now reports EHECS-based public sector employment estimates. Table 1.1 below (reproduced from QNHS release) shows the estimates of public sector employment broken down by the different high level areas within the public sector. I've added the red line below showing proportional allocation of employment - the number of private sector workers per each public sector worker. This only slightly differs from the same metric I derived above based solely on QNHS. Again, there are, broadly speaking, 2.82 persons working in private sector per each 1 person in public sector. A year ago, there were 2.86, 2 years ago, there were 2.85... savage cuts folks? Not exactly. Looks more like continued steady burden on private sector from supporting public sector employment.
That's a tough thing to swallow, folks. Per CSO: "The number of employees in the public sector showed no change over the year to Q2 2011. However, the employment figures for this quarter include 5,300 additional temporary Census field staff who were employed during the periods covering Q1 and Q2 2011. When these staff are excluded there was a fall of 1.3% in employment over the year to Q2 2011." Give it a thought, folks - a fall of 1.3% when unemployment rose 3.93% and underemployment went up 20.89% and employment fell 2.1% and private sector employment declined 2.4%.

"The number of employees in the public sector has continued to fall over the last three years with a total decrease of 24,600 up to Q2 2011 when excluding census field staff." Drama unfolds? Let's check that table above. Since 4Q 2008 through 2Q 2011:
  • Private sector employment is down 12.9%
  • Civil service employment is down 7.5%
  • Semi-states employment is down 8.5%
  • Total public sector ex-semi-states employment is down 5.5%
  • Total public sector employment is down 5.9%
Draw your own conclusions as to whether the Croke Park is delivering or not.

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