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

Brendan Burgess

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I based my initial comments on the NESC report and on how I have seen it quoted. I had not seen it challenged anywhere.


“Ireland has a high level of household joblessness compared to other European countries, with nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of households in Ireland described as jobless (in 2010).” – From the original NESC report on the issue.

This is not correct. 23% of households were not jobless. 23% of people aged 0-59, lived in jobless households.


“There was a sharp increase in jobless households in Ireland following the economic crash in 2008. The jobless household rate increased from 13 per cent in 2004 to 22 per cent in 2010.”– From the original NESC report.


No it didn’t. The percentage of the population aged from 0-59 living in jobless households increased from 13% to 22%

“So whereas in other EU countries, 89pc of households work and fund the 11pc who don't work, in Ireland, 77pc of working households are funding the other 23pc who don't work.”
- My article in the Sunday Independent was wrong. It’s not that 23% of households aren't working – it’s that 23% of the population between 0 and 59 are living in households where no one is working.

“In 2010, 22 per cent of households in Ireland were jobless compared to the euro zone average of just over 10 per cent. A jobless household is defined as one in which its adult(s) spend less than one-fifth of their available time in employment.” Dan O’Brien in the Irish Times quoting the ESRI report.


“A striking aspect of the Irish economy is the high level of jobless households, at over one in five (23.4 per cent).” Donal de Buitleir in the Irish Times

In contrast, the ESRI got it right “New research report finds 22% of Irish population living in jobless households”

Well almost right. It's not 22% of the population, but 22% of the population aged under 60.


Cormac Lucey also got it right: “24% of Irish adults lived in Households with very low work intensity in 2011”

Well I am not sure if this is right or not. I don't think it's 24% of adults, but 24% of the population under aged 60.
 

TheBigShort

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I can only go with what is put in front of me. Read at your own convenience.

I based my initial comments on the NESC report and on how I have seen it quoted. I had not seen it challenged anywhere.


“Ireland has a high level of household joblessness compared to other European countries, with nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of households in Ireland described as jobless (in 2010).” – From the original NESC report on the issue.

This is not correct. 23% of households were not jobless. 23% of people aged 0-59, lived in jobless households.


“There was a sharp increase in jobless households in Ireland following the economic crash in 2008. The jobless household rate increased from 13 per cent in 2004 to 22 per cent in 2010.”– From the original NESC report.


No it didn’t. The percentage of the population aged from 0-59 living in jobless households increased from 13% to 22%

“So whereas in other EU countries, 89pc of households work and fund the 11pc who don't work, in Ireland, 77pc of working households are funding the other 23pc who don't work.”
- My article in the Sunday Independent was wrong. It’s not that 23% of households aren't working – it’s that 23% of the population between 0 and 59 are living in households where no one is working.

“In 2010, 22 per cent of households in Ireland were jobless compared to the euro zone average of just over 10 per cent. A jobless household is defined as one in which its adult(s) spend less than one-fifth of their available time in employment.” Dan O’Brien in the Irish Times quoting the ESRI report.


“A striking aspect of the Irish economy is the high level of jobless households, at over one in five (23.4 per cent).” Donal de Buitleir in the Irish Times

In contrast, the ESRI got it right “New research report finds 22% of Irish population living in jobless households”

Well almost right. It's not 22% of the population, but 22% of the population aged under 60.


Cormac Lucey also got it right: “24% of Irish adults lived in Households with very low work intensity in 2011”

Well I am not sure if this is right or not. I don't think it's 24% of adults, but 24% of the population under aged 60.
 

Deiseblue

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Perhaps on foot of information since gleaned Brendan should consider correcting the misinformation contained in his article in the Sunday Indo , I'm sure the Indo would be amenable , in the interests of veracity , to publishing such a correction.

As an addendum perhaps it could be pointed out that the substantial fall in unemployment rates between 2010 & now could materially effect the percentage of jobless households ?
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi Deise

The overall points are still absolutely valid.

We have a very high level of dependency which is either twice as high as the rest or Europe or 50% higher depending on which measure you use.

Giving people social housing where they want it in prime locations is resulting in those who want to buy or rent being squeezed out.

Having said that, I might propose another article on the topic to the Sunday Independent.

It would be hard to rewrite this into a readable newspaper article.

Why do more Irish people live in jobless households than in the rest of the EU?

Brendan
 

Deiseblue

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I appreciate Brendan that you have made valid points which have led to an excellent debate on this site.

Nevertheless the facts quoted in the Indo article were incorrect & as such perhaps should be corrected ?

As recently as 2013 58.7 % of males aged 55 to 64 ( I cannot see figures for those aged 59 & over ) were employed , the figure for women in the same bracket was 43.1 % according to the CSO - those figures alone could materially alter the jobless household figures posited by you never mind the effect of the substantial reduction in unemployment rates between 2010 & now.

Your article certainly did not state that depending on what measures you used our dependency figures were either twice as high or 50% higher than the EU average - you unequivocally plumped for the higher figure .

It does appear that you now agree that the headline quote of 77 % of households supporting the other 23% may have been overstated & perhaps your mooted article might reflect that ?
 
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Brendan Burgess

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It does appear that you now agree that the headline quote of 77 % of households supporting the other 23% may have been overstated & perhaps your mooted article might reflect that ?
Hi Deise

This is the bit I still have not got my head around.

I should have said that 23% live in jobless households compared to 77% in working households.

But the general point holds: We have more dependants, depending on fewer earners.

I have tried to get data on this but without success so far.

Brendan
 

Deiseblue

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As you say Brendan , it depends on the measures used - the jobless households could total 23 % or approx 16.5 % - a substantial difference I think you will agree .

Given that the reduction in unemployment rates from a high level in the year 2010 of 14.7 % to the current rate of 7.8% & the rather skewed figures from the NESC excluding the over 59 bracket ( I readily admit to being rather baffled by their conclusions & wonder does this exclusion effect the argument? ) I think common sense would lead to the conclusion that the 23 % figure is considerably overstated.
 
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Duke of Marmalade

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I am certainly not going to plunge into the spin off thread which is breaking all records without my help:D
But Boss I think you are beating yourself up or more importantly others are beating you up unjustifiably. Ok, 23% of households jobless is not strictly the same as 23% of 0-60s live in jobless households but where's the big deal? If jobless people lived in the same average size of household the two stats would be identical. As it happens, because of the higher proportion of single people living in jobless households, the number of jobless households should be higher than 23% contrary to Deise's hunch.
I also note that The BigShort who is the pace setter in that record breaking marathon makes a big play of this rather pedantic inaccuracy and I suspect that he like Deise believes it overstates the %.
 

Deiseblue

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Brendan himself as indicated by the title thread seems somewhat surprised that with 10% unemployment you can have 23% jobless households , I would also be more than surprised if that proves to be the case.

Brendan also has stated that depending on the measures used the jobless
households figure could fall to 16.5 % - a salient point not mentioned in his article.

The 23 % figure was also predicated on the 2010 unemployment rate which peaked at 14.7 % as compared to the current such rate of 8.4 %

Hopefully , Brendan will be offered the opportunity by the Indo to submit another article as he has suggested above to elucidate matters.
 

JohnJay

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I'm not a parent and am usually a bit of a hard-ass when it comes to social issues, but it upsets me sometimes when I see kids that I know will probably never work, and have parents and grandparents who have never worked. Its a cycle that will be very hard to break. Does our society not give these kids the opportunity to get a decent education and get out of this cycle, or is our social welfare/social housing too generous and just puts the next generation in to the same cycle as their previous generations?
 

Protocol

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Brendan himself as indicated by the title thread seems somewhat surprised that with 10% unemployment you can have 23% jobless households , I would also be more than surprised if that proves to be the case.
It's not at all surprising, as there are thousands upon thousands of households where the people are jobless, but not unemployed.

They are:
  • lone parents / SAHM single mothers
  • long-term ill
  • disabled
  • carers

etc., etc.

We have more of these dependents than other countries.

Or - we have the same amount as other countries, but they tend to be inactive here.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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Deise no way should the Boss publish some sort of retraction. If anything he understated the %. And the main point is how we compare with other countries on the same stats.
 

Deiseblue

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Have to disagree , Brendan has stated that depending on what measures you use that the jobless households total could be 16.5 % .

Equally the fact that the unemployment rate has fallen from 14.7 % in 2010 to 8.4 % currently has to be a factor.

It was Brendan himself who suggested the possibility of approaching the Indo with a view to publishing another article on this topic obviously with to clarify matters.

I look forward to hopefully reading same.
 

TheBigShort

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I'm not a parent and am usually a bit of a hard-ass when it comes to social issues, but it upsets me sometimes when I see kids that I know will probably never work, and have parents and grandparents who have never worked. Its a cycle that will be very hard to break. Does our society not give these kids the opportunity to get a decent education and get out of this cycle, or is our social welfare/social housing too generous and just puts the next generation in to the same cycle as their previous generations?
I would suggest our society does not give these kids a decent education and as such, a chance to get out of this cycle.
I, by no means claim that I came from a disadvantaged area, but when I attended primary school in '70's, '80's , there was some 36 pupils in the class.
Today, as a much richer country, my 9 yr old son will sit in a class of some 36 pupils cime September - no change, in thirty odd years.

The focus of the ciriculum is top heavy on achieving academic success. Participation rates of students from deprived areas to third level are abysmal, yet they face the same leaving cert as those students who come from typically more affluent areas and whose participation rate is extremely high.

One aspect of the circulum that needs addressing is sport. It is either neglected, or undervalued with basically no points. To emphasis, I used to play for the school GAA team, and considered myself a handy player. But our lead midfielder (who didnt even bother turning up to sit his Leaving cert), was in a different league to the rest of us. He went to play for the Dublin County team bagging a couple of Leinster title medals. Anyway, the point is, on the strength of his participation with the Dublin team he was offered, and carved out a reasonably successful career in the motor trade, in marketing and sales.
There are many other areas in sports, music, theatre, art etc that could offer avenues out of poverty for so many kids.
But this will mostly likely cost €€€€ in taxes to facilitate, and given the premise of Brendans Indo article, of too many taxes and charges, would society be prepared to pay for it?

And I should add to that the success of Brown Bag films. You should go on their website and follow their success story. College dropouts from Ballyfermot Tech, to 2 Oscar nominations, and a recent sale worth some €25m.
 
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Duke of Marmalade

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Deise I don't see where Brendan estimates jobless households at 16.5%.
What I do see is a spreadsheet where he estimates jobless adults at 16.8%, a different thing.
Using his spreadsheet we might estimate jobless households as follows:
Adults in couples both working 10=5 households 0 jobless
Couples one working 18=9H,0XJ
Couples neither working 6=3H,3XJ
Singles working 4=4H,0XJ
Singles not working 2=2H,2XJ
Total 40=23H,5XJ
That's a percentage of jobless households of 22%, remarkably close to the maligned figure:rolleyes:
So I repeat that the semantic faux pas to which the Boss has fessed doesn't amount to a hill of beans and certainly no need for public retraction.
Now thanks to Protocol we have the full picture which I will now repeat.
We start with the unemployed rate, U.
We then have a big jump to the without job rate XJ, consisting of carers, students, children, disabled, employed at less than 20%
There follows a big fall to those living in jobless households, the jobless rate JR, this fall driven by people with jobs removing those living with them from being JR, most notably couples one working.
The final transmission is to the percentage of households which are jobless HJR; we don't actually see this statistic anywhere though as Boss admits he repeated the erroneous NESC citing of just such a percentage. Intuitively one might expect HJR to be actually higher than HR as the more people are in a household the less likely that household will be jobless.

So as Protocol observes there is no great mystery in JR being higher than U, it's just that the first jump above dominates the second fall. To understand why we are outliers in EU terms we need to dig deeper into the two jumps. In the first jump we see that we have much more carers and to a lesser extent more disabled. The former possibly reflects that the traditional single bread earner family unit has survived more in Ireland than elsewhere and/or we have more single parent carers, this latter together with the higher rate of disability claimants possibly deriving from SW abuse, but let's leave that to the marathon runners:p

In the second transmission, the fall from being XJ to being JR Protocol suggests that our fall is less than others as our inactive people have a greater tendency to combine with like persons and therefore not to be "bailed out" by someone employed. I am not so sure on this one or on what sociological inference we could take from it.

So in summary, no reason at all for a retraction from the Boss.
 
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D

Dan Murray

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I have started a new thread on it to try to understand the figures.
In terms of lessons learnt for future articles, my views are that:

1. It would be better to understand the figures before using them as a basis for an article
2. It would be better, where possible, to independently check the accuracy of the figures rather than relying on a single source
3. If very dated figures are being used, then this should be stated - i.e. no where in the link provided is 2010 mentioned and the widespread use of the present tense gives the false impression that the figures are reasonably up to date
 
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Delboy

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I'll resurrect an old thread with some updated news

http://www.thejournal.ie/jobless-households-3832381-Feb2018/
ALMOST ONE IN six Irish households has no adults of working age in employment, according to the Department of Social Protection.
A jobless household is one where no adult in the household it working, it excludes households made up completely of students or adults over 65.
New figures released this week show that there are 253,000 such households in Ireland, out of a total of 1,440,600.
It gives Ireland a rate of jobless households of 17.6%, slightly above the EU average of 17.3%.
Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty gave the figures in a response to a question from Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, noting that the rate had dropped from 23% in 2012.
I'm really surprised to see the EU figure so high
 

Protocol

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