Trailing Behind Europe in Employment Growth

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Here’s a quick post:  Had an interesting and informative twitter exchange with Tom Healy, Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute and Dan O’Brien from the Sunday Independent on foot of the CSO’s release of new job numbers.

Jobs growth in the third quarter was 10,400 seasonally adjusted.  For the same period last year it was nearly 18,000 but we know there are serious flaws in 2013 employment figures given the CSO’s warnings about the impact of their revision of their sampling base.

So, 10,000 jobs growth; for the year it is 15,400.  This is better than a loss and going in the right direction.  But is it going fast enough?  It it well balanced across all sectors?  Is the glass half-full or half-empty.

What was interesting in the twitter exchange was how we compared to EU jobs growth.   The fact is that our jobs growth this year fares poorly with the rest of the EU. The data we have goes up to the 2nd quarter of this year.

These are unadjusted figures – which is why Ireland shows a job loss.  When seasonally adjusted, there was an incremental growth in Ireland of 5,000.  Unfortunately, Eurostat doesn’t provide seasonally adjusted numbers.  However, these are like-to-like employment numbers

And they show Ireland below the EU average and fourth from the bottom.

So whether you think 10,000 jobs increasing in the 3rd quarter is good news or not, we can see that from the latest data we are lagging behind almost all other EU countries (if we used our adjusted number in the table above, we’d still be below average while most countries would still have a higher employment growth rate – even with their unadjusted numbers).

So Ireland had one of the deepest employment recessions in the EU and now our jobs growth is one of the most sluggish.

Hopefully, things will improve.  But it will take a significant improvement to get us to where most other European countries are.

NOTE:  unemployment fell by 25,600 this year so far.  That’s good news.  We can estimate emigration among working age population to be 48,000 to 55,000.  That’s bad news. Pop quiz:  does the one flatter the other?

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