Thursday, November 3, 2011

03/11/2011: Another shallow rise in unemployment

The Live Register figures are out for October with standardized (LR-implied) rate of unemployment inching up to 14.4%. Here are the details.

Live Register-implied Standardized Unemployment Rate (SUR) rose from 14.3% in September to 14.4% in October, matching the levels in July and August. 14.4% is the highest level SUR reached in 10 months through October 2011 and the third highest since the crisis began (note that 14.4% SUR was recorded in 4 months since the crisis began). October 2011 SUR is now identical to that recored in October 2010Chart below illustrates.

Overall, seasonally-adjusted LR rose to 447,100 in October 2011, up 2,700 on September 2011. year on year, LR fell 300 (-0.07%). In September 2011, LR declined 4,300 mom and fell 5,400 yoy (-1.2% yoy). 3mo average through October 2011 is down 0.31% yoy. As shown below, we have a virtually flat trend.

Seasonally-adjusted LR numbers for those 25 years of age and older rose 2,100, from 364,000 in September to 366,100 in October. Year on year the number of 25 years and older workers on LR is up 2,600 (+0.72%) and 3mo average through October is 1.4% above the same period yoy. The numbers of under 25-yo workers on LR increased 500 (+0.62%) from 80,400 in September to 80,900 in October 2011. However, year on year, the number of young workers on LR fell 5,700 (-6.6%) - a shallower fall than in September 2011, but a significant decline. Overall, this suggests that younger workers exits into education, emigration and general falling out of the benefits net can be a significant source for moderating trends in LR figures overall in recent months.

Casual and part-time workers counts on LR rose 1,012 (+1.2%) from 84,017 in September to 85,029 in October 2011. 3mo average through October is now 9.1% above the same period in 2010 and year on year October reading is 7,105 (+9.1%) ahead of October 2010 level. Chart below illustrates.

Numbers of non-nationals on LR fell 384 in October to 75,037 - a decline of 0.51% and are up year on year by 402 (+0.54%). Numbers of Irish nationals on LR declined 6,625 mom (-1.83%) and are up 477 yoy (+0.13%). For both series there were small (less than 0.22%) declines in 3mo average through october, yoy. Please remember - these are not seasonally adjusted.

Per CSO release, "in October 58.2% (250,659) of all claimants on the Live Register were short term claimants. The comparable figure for October 2010 was 65.6% (281,945)." The annual fall of 31,286 (-11.1%) was recorded in the number of short term claimants. "The number of long term claimants on the Live Register in October 2011 was 179,773", up  32,165 (+21.8%) yoy. "This rate of increase in long term claimants has been slowing through the year with an annual increase of 57,597 (55.9%) having been recorded in January 2011."

The rate of increase, however, can be slowing due to several factors not mentioned by the CSO, such as draw down in LR numbers due to training programmes participation, emigration and dropping out of unemployed second earners from the labour force and LR benefits.

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