Contrary to all the hype here and in the media, Ireland's unemployment rate is falling, both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter. In the third quarter of 2007, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, compared with 4.5% in the second quarter of 2007 and also 4.5% in the third quarter of 2006. The figures are given in today's CSO publication of the Quarterly National Household Survey, which is the official measure of employment and unemployment in Ireland.
http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/ ... t/qnhs.pdf
The figures show that in the year to the third quarter of 2007, the seasonally-adjusted number in employment increased by 67,100, of which 4,900 were in construction and 62,200 were in non-construction. That's the net increase, after all those losing jobs are included. This is an increase of 3.3% in the year and compares with an increase of 1.4% in employment in the EU as a whole for the same period, for which figures were also published today. In the year to the third quarter of 2006, the seasonally-adjusted number in employment increased by 82,800, of which 25,100 were in construction and 57,700 were in non-construction. So, even though there has been a sharp downturn in construction, total employment is still increasing at a very rapid rate, aided by an actual acceleration in employment growth outside of construction compared with the previous year.
CSO figures in today's Quarterly National Household Survey also show that the non-national population aged 15+ in Ireland increased by 61,300 in the year to the third quarter of 2007. Virtually all of these 61,300 were from eastern Europe. So all those stories here and in the media about eastern Europeans now leaving Ireland in droves are also without foundation. The total population (Irish + non-national) aged 15+ increased by 84,900 in the year to the third quarter of 2007. Today's CSO publication only gives population estimates for those aged 15+. But, I calculate from these that the total population must have increased by about 100,000 in the year to the third quarter of 2007 and in that quarter the total population was about 4,360,000.