Friday, June 17, 2011

Labour Market Status – the full-time employed

The QNHS may be beginning to signal that stabilisation in the labour market is not far away.  In a previous post we examined the principle economic status of individuals.  Here we focus on the group who classed themselves as ‘at work’ to determine how real this stabilisation is.

Here is a snapshot of the labour market status of the population aged over 15 since 2003.

Labour Market Status Status

Two things are immediately obvious from this graph.

  1. The increase in the population aged over 15 stopped in the middle of 2007.
  2. The fall in the number of people in full-time employment since the middle of 2007.

The reasons for the stalling of the population over 15 have been discussed elsewhere (it is largely the departure of non-Irish nationals).  Here we will look the numbers in employment.

Total Numbers Employed

Looking at the total number employed it suggests that labour market conditions are back to those last seen in early 2003.  Since the peak in 2007 the numbers employed in Ireland has fallen by 346,000.  The decline is continuing and two-thirds of the fall in the past year has been among non-Irish nationals who have subsequently left the country.  However, from the perspective of overall economic performance it doesn’t matter who they are and the 55,000 decline in employment in the past year is a continuing negative sign. We can also see the breakdown on the patterns on which is it likely the CSO’s seasonal adjustment methodology is based, the problems with which were noted here.

However, looking at the total numbers employed only gives a partial picture.  Next we consider the number of people in full time employment.

Full Time Employed

This is far worse than the total number employed and the decline is showing no signs of abating. Full-time employment is now back to levels last seen in 1999.  If this continues we will drop below the levels recorded at the start of the dataset in 1998.  When we examine the breakdown by gender we see that one group already are.

Full Time Employed by Gender

Male full-time employment is back to levels last seen in 1998.  Female full-time employment is declining and is back to 2004 levels.

Although the level of full-time employment has continued to head south, part-time employment has continued onward ever upward.

Part Time Employed

And these increases have been seen for both genders.

Part Time Employed by Gender

This reduction in full-time employment and increase in part-time employment gives rise to the following.

Proportion Full Time Employed

After hovering around 83% for nearly a decade the proportion of workers who are employed full-time has now declined to 76%.

The final graph of this set looks at the change in male employees and self-employed workers.

Male Employees

Since the middle of 2008 the number of male employees has fallen from 925,000 to 720,000, with a fall from 299,000 to 236,000 for male self-employed workers.  The equivalent fall for females employees is from 856,000 to 779,000 while the number of female self-employed workers fell from 63,000 to 57,000.  Male employment is down 268,000 with an 83,000 drop in female employment.

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