DAN O’BRIEN, Economics Editor and LUKE CASSIDY
The unemployment rate has been revised sharply upwards, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today.
In the final quarter of 2010 the seasonally adjusted rate of joblessness was 14.7 per cent, one percentage point higher than previously estimated. The last time unemployment reached the current highs was in April 1994.
The data show the number of people in employment continued to shrink in the fourth quarter, with 16,200 fewer people at work compared to the third quarter.
The rate of decline – at just under 1 per cent – is broadly in line with the average of the first three quarters of 2010, suggesting that a bottoming out of the shake out in the labour market is not yet at hand.
The Quarterly National Household Survey shows the number of people at work declined by 3.4 per cent, a fall of 64,500, to 1,823,200, in the year to the fourth quarter last year.
Last year the average employment level was 80,700, or 4.2 per cent lower than 2009. However, this follows a decrease of 8.1 per cent, or 171,000 between 2008 and 2009.
The numbers of unemployed increased by 31,600, or 11.8 per cent annually to 299,000.
The figures also showed the long-term unemployment rate increased from 4.1 per cent of the workforce in the final quarter of 2009 to 7.3 per cent to in the same period in 2010, a 20-year high.
Those out of work for the first time accounted for more than half of the total jobless, with 51.5 per cent of total unemployment in the fourth quarter of last year compared with 33.3 per cent in 2009.
Men account for the vast majority of unemployed at over 200,000 however the rate of increase of unemployment for women was nearly three times that of their male colleagues at 21.9 per cent compared to 7.6per cent.
As I keep saying we are still not getting the true figures of the legions of the unemployed there are approximately 65,000 so called x self-employed that do not appear on the live register because this register only records persons in receipt of jobseekers allowance and the X self-employed are deprived of any form of support and thus don’t appear in the published figures and of course the many thousands that have left the country in the meantime (since January ) are also not counted.