Irish Unemployment Rates – Are We Being Fooled?

We all know that the rate of unemployment is pretty bad here in Ireland – but are the real figures worse than the government tell us?
The latest headline unemployment rate figure for August 2010 is 13.8% – which is
From the recent CSO statistics .

We are told that the number of people on the “live register”  is 466923
We are told that …… “The Live Register includes all people under 65 claiming Jobseekers Benefit (JB)  or  Jobseekers Allowance (JA). It excludes systematic short-time workers and excludes  smallholders/farm assists and other self-employed persons

We are then also told by the CSO that that the live register figures are  not used to calculate unemployment beacuse they  include…….  “part-time (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers”.

So instead they use the Quarterly Household Survey to calculate the unemployment figures. This  survey is carried out on just 39000 random households each quarter. The participants have to agree to take part in the survey – and they are asked the questions by CSO employees. From experience – the type of people that will agree to take part in these  surveys may not be representative of the overall population – and also the lack of a national property database must mean that many households are never even invited to take part in the survey. So – it’s accuracy may be doubtful. Surely the number of Jobseeker claimants is a more accurate figure?

The latest  total  for Unemployed people as calculated by the Household Survey was 277400 – which is about 60% of the  466923 on the Live register.

According to the CSO  figures  there are 72282 part time or casual workers on the live register (tey say it it already excludes “systematic short-time workers”)
If we subtract this figure from the total on the live register – it leaves us with a figure of  394641 – not in part time work.

So which unemployment figure is true?   Is it 277400 or  394641 ??

The published unemployment rate is  13.8%  – which is  based on 277400 unemployed in a labour force of 2132700. (That works out at closer to 13%)

Using that same labour force figure of 2132700 (provided by the Household Survey) – if the figure from the live register of  394641 was used  that works out at 18.5% unemployment rate.
If the live register also excludes self employed people and smallholders/farm assists – the true figure for unemployment could be even higher than this!