Thursday, June 16, 2011

Changes in Employment and Unemployment

Here’s another quick update from today’s QNHS release.  Here are the absolute changes in employment and unemployment since the third quarter of 2007 (peak employment).

Since 2007 there has been a reduction of 345,000 in the number employed.  Over the same period the number unemployed has risen by 198,000.  Over the past three quarters the number employed has fallen by 47,000 and over the same time the number unemployed has also fallen (though only by 3,000).

All Cumulative Changes

If the reduction in the numbers employed had corresponded exactly to the increase in the numbers unemployed, then the number unemployed would be nearly 450,000 rather than the current figure of 295,700.

As before the question is: where did these 150,000 people go?

We get a small part of the answer if we look to Irish nationals.  The gap here is around 50,000.  There has been a fall of 216,000 in the numbers employed and a rise of 168,000 in the numbers unemployed.  We can also see that over the past two quarters both of these measures have been largely unchanged.

Irish Cumulative Changes

The picture is somewhat different when we look at non-Irish nationals.  There is a huge gap between the reduction in employment (139,000) and the increase in unemployment (24,000).

Non-Irish Cumulative Changes

We can also see that there has been an acceleration in the reduction in employment for non-Irish nationals which fell by 17,000 in the first quarter of 2011.  At the same time the number of unemployed non-Irish nationals also fell (by 5,000). 

It is clear that a lot of the recent dynamics in the Irish labour force is being driven by the departure of non-Irish nationals from the country.

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