According to the latest Live Register data, standardised unemployment rate in September 2011 was 14.3%, down slightly from a rate of 14.4% in August and in line with the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from QNHS (14.2%) for Q2 2011. The average unemployment rate during 2010 was 13.6% while the average rate for 9mos of 2011 to-date is 14.2%.
On a seasonally adjusted basis there was a decrease of 5,400 (-1.2%) on the Live Register in the month to September 2011 bringing the seasonally adjusted total to 442,200. Per CSO: "This decrease follows four consecutive months of relatively low increases in the seasonally adjusted series. Over the last twelve months the seasonally adjusted Live Register has remained in the relatively narrow range of
441,600 to 447,900". Importantly:
- We now have the largest decrease in seasonally adjusted LR since September 2007.
- Year on year LR declined 5,700 or 1.28% against previous month year-on-year increase of 1,200 (+0.27%)
- Q3 2011 average LR is now up 0.39% on Q2 2011 and 0.15% down on Q3 2010.
The above suggest significant decreases in LR, although the source of these decrease is unclear, as exits from benefits and/or emigration would reflect positively on LR figures, while having an adverse impact on overall economy.
Charts above illustrate the two trends - one of moderating decrease in LR and the other chart showing just how significant the drop of 5,700 is compared to historical monthly changes.
On a seasonally adjusted basis there were monthly decreases of 3,000 males and 2,400 females on the Live Register in September 2011 which implies that female unemployment (of lesser vintage than average male unemployment) is somewhat sticker for now. The same is confirmed by the annual data, with the number of female claimants increasing by 2,834 (+1.9%) to 155,453 over the year, while the number of male claimants decreasing by 7,810 (-2.7%) to 281,988.
The number of long term claimants on the Live Register continued to increase over the year with 41.9% of claimants in September 2011 on the Live Register for one year or more, up on 33.4% in September 2010.
Trends for national v foreign workers on LR and for casual and part-time LR signees are illustrated below:
So on the net - the new data is encouragingly strong on monthly decline side, but requires further confirmations in October-December to raise confidence that we are witnessing a sustained trend. It also requires cross-referencing to changes in the labour force that can only be performed using QNHS results for Q3.
In fairness to the politicians, Joan Burton TD today said that the September Live Register figure needs to be judged in light of Q4 2011 Live Register figures.
Which makes a nice change from politicians claiming that "one swallow makes a summer"
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