Live Register improves for an 11th successive month

Data just released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the number of people on the Live Register has decreased for an 11th successive month. The seasonally adjusted total for May, at 426,100, was -700 m/m and 11,000 (2.5%) lower than a year ago.

The standardised unemployment rate in May was 13.7%, unchanged from the revised (previously 14.0%) reading for April.

While the latest QNHS revealed a third successive quarter of sequential growth in total employment in Ireland, other factors have also played a role in reducing the numbers on the Live Register. Two of these are emigration and people returning to education, and here we note that while the unadjusted number of people over the age of 25 on the Register fell by 1.6% over the year, the number of people under the age of 25 on it fell by 7.3% y/y. Elsewhere, the number of people on ‘Activation Programmes’, which are primarily targeted at the long-term unemployed and whose participants are not included in the Live Register count, increased by 4.7% y/y in April to 86,042.

A constant theme in our commentary on this release is the high proportion of long-term claimants on the Live Register. In May 45.5% of claimants had been continually registered for at least one year, up from 44.6% in May 2012. Tackling this remains a major priority for policymakers.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2013, we expect to see further declines in the Live Register, with the ongoing recovery in private sector hiring set to become a more important driver of this as the year goes on. 

Philip O’Sullivan