Sunday, December 12, 2010

Composition of the Labour Force

We can get some useful numbers from the QNHS on the composition of the labour force.  Here we will look at the nationality of workers in the Irish labour force.  Click all graphs to enlarge.

The number of non-Irish nationals in the labour force peaked at 366,500 in the final quarter of 2007.  Since then it has declined and by the third quarter of 2010 was down to 276,600, though this decline has eased considerably over the last three quarters.

Over the same period the number of non-Irish National employees has fallen by 119,400 while the number of unemployed non-Irish Nationals has only increased by 29,400.  Most of the non-Irish Nationals who have lost their job have also left the labour force.  By extension we can assume that they have left the country. 

Non-Nationals Total

Since Q4 2007 there has been a 167,900 fall in employment among Irish nationals.  During the same period the number of Irish nationals classified as unemployed has risen by 168,600.

The percent of the labour force comprised of non-Irish nationals has fallen from nearly 16.5% at the end of 2007 to 12.8% now, a level last seen at the beginning of 2006.

Non-Nationals Percent

Most of this decrease can be accounted for with workers from the EU Accession States leaving the workforce (country), though there was an increase in workers from these countries in the last quarter.  The number of workers from outside the EU has also declined with only slight decreases in the number of UK and EU15 (excluding UK and Ireland) workers in the labour force.

Origin of Non-Nationals

There has been a consistent, though small, difference in the unemployment rates of Irish and non-Irish nationals.  This gap has increased in recent quarters.  For the third quarter of 2010 unemployment among Irish workers was 13.3% and was 18.1% for non-Irish nationals.

Unemployment Rates by Nationality

Workers from the EU15 (excluding UK and Ireland) have the lowest unemployment rate though this did jump from under 7% in Q2 to over 11% in Q3.  A tad under 20% of workers from the EU Accession States are now out of work.

Unemployment Rates by Origin

The QNHS also provide data on employment by sector.  Nearly 62% of all non-Irish national workers are employed in just four sectors; Industry (17.8% of non-Irish national employees), Retail, Wholesale and the Motor Trades (16.8%), Accommodation and Food Service (14.8%) and Health (12.5%).

Numbers employed by sector

The next figure gives the percent of non-Irish employees in each sector.  This ranges from 20.7% in the Accommodation and Food Service Sector, 16.7% in Industry to 4.9% in Education and just 1.2% in Public Administration and Defence.

Percent non-Irish by sector

We can also consider the change by sector since the peak level of employment seen in 2007 Q4.  The numbers of non-Irish Nationals employed has fallen in all 14 NACE categories reported by the CSO. 

Change in Non-National Employment

The largest falls have been in Construction and Retail, Wholesale and the Motor Trades.  It is also useful to look at the proportionate reduction  in the numbers of non-Irish nationals employed by sector.  There has been a nearly 80% reduction in the number of non-Irish nationals employed in the Construction sector since Q4 2007.

Percentage Change in Non-National Employment

The smallest proportionate decrease in the number of non-Irish nationals employed has been seen in the health sector with a fall of 11.3%. 

If we look at employment among Irish nationals we see that employment levels have actually increased in six sectors.  These are Accommodation and Food Service, Information and Communications, Public Administration and Defence, Education, Health and Other.  The following graph combines the previous one with changes in employment among non-Irish nationals with the equivalent numbers for Irish nationals.

Percentage Change in Employment by Nationality

The only sector where there has been a worse proportionate change among Irish employees is the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sector. 

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