How can you have 23% Jobless households with 10% unemployment?

Protocol

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Here is the short answer as to why the rate of VLWI is so high:

(1) In 2009, Ireland had the highest European level of economic inactivity at 42 per cent of the working-age population.


We have more adults classified as unemployed / disabled / ill / carers, than in other countries.

Unemployment might be falling, but inactivity could still be high, or not fall as much.

Or unemployment could be below some other country, yet our inactivity rate could be higher than that same other country.

Others [e.g. David McWilliams] have written about the rise in numbers on disability payments, even though the country is healthier.


(2) However, this inactivity rate on its own is not enough to account for the exceptionally high rate of very low work intensity in Ireland.

For an explanation of this, we needed to look as well as the living arrangements of inactive working-age adults. If jobless adults in Ireland are less likely to live with someone who works and more likely to live with children compared to jobless adults in the EU generally, this would contribute to a much higher rate of very low work intensity than we would expect based on the adult joblessness rate alone.


So this second reason is about the distribution of work across households. It seems that jobless adults here are less likely to live with a working adult than in other countries. The working adult would lift the household out of the VLWI category. But that tends not to happen here.
 
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Protocol

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Just to be clear on what work intensity means:

The indicator persons living in households with low work intensity is defined as the number of persons living in a household having a work intensity below a threshold set at 0.20.

The work intensity of a household is the ratio of the total number of months that all working-age household members have worked during the income reference year and the total number of months the same household members theoretically could have worked in the same period.

A working-age person is a person aged 18-59 years, with the exclusion of students in the age group between 18 and 24 years.

Households composed only of children, of students aged less then 25 and/or people aged 60 or more are completely excluded from the indicator calculation.
 

Protocol

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Also, to be clear on what Very Low Work Intensity [VLWI] means:


People living in households with very low work intensity are defined as people of all ages (0–59) living in households where the members of working age worked less than 20.0 % of their total potential during the previous 12 months.
 
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Protocol

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So the 23% figure in Irl means:

In 2012-2013, approx 23% of people aged 0-59 lived in households that were classified as VLWI households.


Note that it does not mean "23% of households are classified as VLWI households"
 

Protocol

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Eurostat go further, and provide a breakdown of VLWI across household types.

Proportion of population aged less than 60 living in households with very low work intensity, by household type, 2013

upload_2016-8-18_16-19-2.png
 
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Protocol

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Across all five family types, Irl has much more people aged 0-59 living in VLWI households than elsewhere.

You can see that lone parents have very high rates of VLWI in Ireland.

Combine that with the fact that we have a disproportionate amount of lone parents, and they you can see why we have so many people living in VLWI households.

In this context, I have long called for the abolition of OPFP, and its replacement with something else.

Paying OPFP encourages lone parenthood and leads to more people in VLWI households. Mothers and children suffer as a result.
 

Protocol

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Do you know if there are any statistics to show the percentage of adult social welfare recipients in Ireland compared to the rest of the EU?

For example, do we have 4 working for each person in receipt of social welfare, compared to 8 to 1 in the rest of the EU?

This is an interesting question.

It should be easy to get employment rates for working-age adults in Irl vs the EU.

But what's harder to find is no. of working-age benefit recipients in Irl vs the EU.
 

PMU

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This is an interesting question. It should be easy to get employment rates for working-age adults in Irl vs the EU.
Our friends in the OECD tell us that in 2015 (most recent data available) Ireland had 63.3% of the total working age population in employment, as opposed to 65.6% for the total EU. https://data.oecd.org/emp/employment-rate.htm.

But what's harder to find is no. of working-age benefit recipients in Irl vs the EU.
It is but again the OECD's "Government at a Glance" series (always worth a read) tells us that in 2015, 4.1% of the age 15-64 population were in receipt of primary out-of-work benefits, but for secondary benefits (e.g. lone parent) it's 10.8%. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/soc_glance-2014-en/05/05/index.html?contentType=/ns/Chapter,/ns/StatisticalPublication&itemId=/content/chapter/soc_glance-2014-21-en&mimeType=text/html&containerItemId=/content/serial/19991290&accessItemIds=&option6=imprint&value6=http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/imprint/oecd
 

Protocol

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So our employment rate at 63.3% is below the OECD, EU and eurozone averages.

2015 data.

It is also well below the following countries:

DK = 73.5%
DE = 74.0%
UK = 72.7%

There's one main cause of high rates of people in VLWI households.
 

Protocol

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It's 1,964,000 employed in 2015 as per OECD.

That's 63.3% of 3,102,686 working age adults.

If we added 10% to our employment rate, to reach DK or DE rates, that would mean an extra 310,000 people in employment.
 

Protocol

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It is but again the OECD's "Government at a Glance" series (always worth a read) tells us that in 2015, 4.1% of the age 15-64 population were in receipt of primary out-of-work benefits, but for secondary benefits (e.g. lone parent) it's 10.8%. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/soc_glance-2014-en/05/05/index.html?contentType=/ns/Chapter,/ns/StatisticalPublication&itemId=/content/chapter/soc_glance-2014-21-en&mimeType=text/html&containerItemId=/content/serial/19991290&accessItemIds=&option6=imprint&value6=http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/imprint/oecd

The Excel file linked to this OECD data is good - thanks very much.

PMU,

look carefully at the figure for lone parents - it is recorded at 0.00 in Ireland for both years.

Odd?????
 
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Brendan Burgess

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Hi Protocol

Thanks for that brilliant series of posts explaining it.

I completely missed this point:

So the 23% figure in Irl means:

In 2012-2013, approx 23% of people aged 0-59 lived in households that were classified as VLWI households.


Note that it does not mean "23% of households are classified as VLWI households"
It explains a lot about the figures. I took statements like these from the NESC report to actually mean what they say:

upload_2016-8-16_15-10-31.png

It should really be "Why do such a high proportion of adults and children in Ireland live in Jobless households"

This piece from the Executive Summary is also misleading:
upload_2016-8-16_15-14-51.png

Table 1 seems to be the figures for your definition. We are only a bit above the average:
upload_2016-8-16_15-17-23.png

Figure 1 is the main graph:
upload_2016-8-16_15-19-39.png

23% of households are not jobless. 23% of those working in Jobless households are jobless?

Now, I am confusing myself.
 

PMU

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PMU, look carefully at the figure for lone parents - it is recorded at 0.00 in Ireland for both years. Odd?????
It is odd but perhaps understandable. When you look at the subsidiary tables in the spreadsheet they list various programmes, i.e. Jobseekers' benefit; Deserted Wife's allowance (which was replaced by OPFP in 1997); Carers' allowance; Farm Assist (what the hell is that?); and Guardian Payment, but not the OPFP. So that is odd.

One of the reasons I follow the 'Government at a Glance' series is that in my professional life I was vaguely involved in getting public servants to submit statistics to the OECD for this publication. (Not the unemployment / social welfare statistics I wish to emphasise). It really is up to the relevant national agency to submit the info and to submit the correct stuff. So someone appears to have goofed off on the details of the 42,000 approx. recipients of OPFP. I presume they were bunged in with the secondary payments data and not separately identified.
 

TheBigShort

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"I have always been shocked by the 23% figure and I have never seen an adequate explanation"

The 23% figure relates to 2010! Yet you compare it to average unemployment rates of 2016!!
Why dont you take the unemployment rate of 2010 and then make a comparative analysis?
 

Protocol

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Unemployment rate, ILO measure, SA, monthly rates - I used June data

2004 =
2005 =
2006 = 4.6
2007 = 4.7
2008 = 6.0
2009 = 12.2
2010 = 13.7
2011 = 14.5
2012 = 14.7
2013 = 13.5
2014 = 11.4
2015 = 9.4
2016 = 7.8
 

TheBigShort

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Interesting.

The VLWI rate almost doubled between 2006 to 2011 whilst, during the same period, the unemployment rate trebled!
 

orka

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Interesting.

The VLWI rate almost doubled between 2006 to 2011 whilst, during the same period, the unemployment rate trebled!
Why is that interesting? Would you expect them to go up proportionate to each other? I wouldn't. The non-unemployment contributors to VLWI (disability, single parents, carers) aren't as affected by recession - they are what they are regardless of whether there are jobs available. The unemployment rate increased by about 10 points and the VLWI rate increased by about 11 points (probably driven almost entirely by the increased unemployment rate).

[And just mathematically/logically from common sense, it's a lot easier to triple 4.6% unemployment than 12.9% VLWI (39% VLWI would really have us in the manure business...)]
 

TheBigShort

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Why is that interesting? Would you expect them to go up proportionate to each other? I wouldn't. The non-unemployment contributors to VLWI (disability, single parents, carers) aren't as affected by recession - they are what they are regardless of whether there are jobs available. The unemployment rate increased by about 10 points and the VLWI rate increased by about 11 points (probably driven almost entirely by the increased unemployment rate).

[And just mathematically/logically from common sense, it's a lot easier to triple 4.6% unemployment than 12.9% VLWI (39% VLWI would really have us in the manure business...)]
Very true. Its not interesting at all, I not really sure why charts for VLWI and Unemployment rates are being compared in the first instance.
 

Branz

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Very true. Its not interesting at all, I not really sure why charts for VLWI and Unemployment rates are being compared in the first instance
When did the correct data ever get precedent over an article in a rag like the independent?
Never thought BB was a choirboy for The Redacted One.
 
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