Wednesday, July 30, 2014

30/7/2014: Some Simple Maths Around Live Register Numbers

There are some positive news on Live Register front today, which you can read about here:

My friend, Marc Coleman noted in his commentary that:

Progress of sorts, I agree. However, several caveats apply:

  1. The above figures quoted by Marc omit outflows from LR due to expiration of benefits (e.g. two-earners household where one earner becomes unemployed, draws unemployment supports, but then runs out of benefits due to high income of the other earner, etc);
  2. The above reductions also reflect outflows of working age population out of Ireland;
  3. The above reductions reflect exits from LR due to entry into Activation Programmes (e.g. JobBridge) and general tightening of LR access (e.g. people made self-employed before they lost jobs etc).
Let's take a look at the numbers we do know:

  • July 2011: Live Reg total = 470,284;  Unem. rate = 14.3% (estimated at the time, not 14.5% - adjusted later); and State Training Programmes Participants = 54,287 (June - these numbers are reported with a lag of one month, so to make them comparable to currently available data, I took June numbers for 2011).
  • July 2014: Live Reg total = 404,515; Unem. rate = 11.5%; and STPs = 65,709 (June).
  • So STPs difference = 11,422
  • Net emigration 2011-2013 (25-64 years old only, so I exclude 15-24 year olds - the largest category - this gives me some comfort on relating these emigrants to unemployment or underemployment) = 28,900

And we have:

  • Net emigration 2011-2013 and net change in STPs = 40,322
  • Add 2013-2014 emigration at 1/2 rate of 2012-2013 rate for 25-64 year olds = 6,900
  • Live Reg total July 2011 relative to July 2014 change: -65,769
  • Net emigration and STPs change 2011-2013 (estimated): - 47,222
  • Not in the above: exits from LR due to expiration of benefits.

So even without exits from LR, potential improvement in LR for June-July 2014 compared to June-July 2011 is at maximum 18,547, over 3 years or roughly 6,180 per annum.

Reminder, Live Register supported numbers are at 404,515 (LR) +65,709 (STPs) = 470,224. Do the maths as to whether this rate of improvement is really significant enough…

My view is that it is great to see reductions in LR and (not in the current release) there are some good news from the QNHS side that covers new employment. But we need much, much more rapid reductions in unemployment and increases in jobs creation (especially jobs creation at domestic economy levels, not just in MNCs- dominated sectors) to even start talking about any significant 'progress' here.

Good thing, Marc agrees, somewhat:

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