Friday, May 31, 2013

31/5/2013: Part-time v Full-time Unemployment in Ireland

"Less positively, the Quarterly National Household Survey showed that most of the gains in employment have been in part-time rather than full-time jobs." Irish Times :

Sadly, I must say, this is simply incorrect.

In Q1 2013, full-time jobs stood at 1,391,100 which is down on Q4 2012 when these counted 1,398,700 (-7,700 q/q change) and is down on Q1 2012 when the full-time jobs counted 1,394,800 (-3,700 y/y). This is also down on Q1 2011 when full-time jobs numbered 1,401,800 (a net loss of 10,700 full-time jobs in 2 years).

Part-time jobs rises accounted for all, repeat all, increases in Q1 2013: these increased to 454,400 in Q1 2013 from 450,200 in Q4 2012 (+4,200 q/q) and were up on 430,200 (+24,200 y/y) on Q1 2012. This is goodish, as - obviously - it is better that people are working at least part-time. However, it is simply incorrect to claim that "most of the gains in employment have been in part-time rather than full-time jobs" when there were DECREASES in full-time jobs.

Worse than that: the picture is further distorted by the differences in changes in part-time underemployed jobs numbers and part-time not underemployed numbers.

Year on year, part-time not underemployed numbers rose from 291,300 in Q1 2012 to 298,500 in Q1 2013 - a gain of 7,200 or just 29.7% of all part-time (and net) jobs gained y/y. The rest 70% of the jobs gains were amongst part-time underemployed. And compounding this, quarter on quarter, numbers of those in part-time employment who are not underemployed actually fell - from 304,400 in Q4 2012 to 298,500 in Q1 2013.

It would help to read the Table 1 of the CSO release :

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