Sometimes when I hear figures and statistics announced on the radio about the rate of unemployment in Ireland I get confused. Today the issue was debated on the Pat Kenny show or RTE radio. It seems Fine Gael were unhappy that Pat Kenny said the unemployment rate was 15.1%. They said it was much lower. Pat Kenny said the EU thought it was even higher. I was even more confused afterwards so I decided to see for myself what really was going on.
The Unemployment Rate in Ireland has more or less remained unchanged at 14% for the first four months of 2013. While this looks bad and it is bad, it has been worse and it has been better in the past 30 years, ever since the Irish Central Statistics Office has officially tracked this ratio on a monthly basis.
Historically, from 1983 until 2013, Ireland’s Unemployment Rate has averaged around 10.9%. Some of us remember when it reached an all time high of 17.3% in the really dark days of December 1985. On the other hand, the rate reached a record low of 3.7% in the halcyon days of January 2001.
The ‘unemployment rate’ measures the number of people actively looking for a job expressed as a percentage of the labour force, not of the overall population.
Approx 450,000 adults of working age (between 18 and 65) are now signing on the Live Register, declaring themselves to be officially unemployed, seeking work and eligible for unemployment benefits from the state.
That implies that the working population, who make up the entire Irish labour force numbers approximately 2,900,000 million people. (Out of a total population of 4,580,000)
So, here it is; 2,450,000 Irish adults, between the ages of 18 and 65, are working. They are employed, self-employed, or not claiming benefits. They may also own or manage a business that employs other people.
A further 450,000 Irish adults are not working, are actively seeking work and are claiming benefits from the State.
Everyone else, 1,680,000 people are either too young, or too old to work.
Got it? Good! Now what does Seasonally adjusted mean? Damned if I know?
All I do know is that if you are looking for work and you have used all the official channels available to you, then you should also register your skills with www.icanwork4u.com . It is free, easy and could result in you being offered a job that you didn’t know existed. Did you know that over 80% of all job offers are never listed. No? Well that’s a fact and it makes finding a job even more difficult. Register with icanwork4u.com today and see if it makes a difference. It certainly can’t hurt.