Dundalk women are re-joining the full-time workforce after the recession at a faster rate than men, according to CSO figures released this week.
Live Register figures, which indicate the number of people registered with the Department of Social Protection, show that the percentage drop in the number of women on the Live Register in Dundalk from its highest in July 2013(2,878) to February 2017(1,934) was 33%.
This matches the State’s percentage drop from its highest figure of 172,860 in August 2011 to 115,345 in February 2017. For men, the percentage drop of 47% in the overall State figures from its peak of 300,460 in July 2010 to the February figure of 159,748 is 6% higher than the percentage drop of 41% in Dundalk figures from a peak of 4,797 in July 2011 to 2,816 in February 2017.
There are some very interesting points that are revealed in this data, but it is important to note the following information when considering the data in detail. According to the CSO, monthly unemployment data is available at a state level only. We have used Live Register figures to get an estimate of how jobs are recovering at a local level from their lowest points during the recession.
With regards to Live Register figures, it must be noted that they include part time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance. For our purposes, it is giving us information on those who are not in full time employment at a town and county level and this is very informative when we want to look at how jobs are recovering locally and in relation to the rest of the country.
And so back to the numbers. Looking first at figures for both male and females in the under 25-year-old bracket; for the State as a whole, the February 2017 figure of 31,476 is 67% lower than the peak figure of 94,967 in August 2009.
In Dundalk, the February 2017 figure of 619 is 63% lower than the peak of 1,687 recorded in July 2007. So, for under 25-year-olds, the Dundalk figure is 4% lower than the overall State figure. In the 25 and over age bracket, the State figure for February 2017 of 243,617 is 36% lower than its peak figure of 380,958, recorded in July 2011.
In Dundalk, the February figure of 4,131 is 32% lower than the peak figure of 6,035 recorded in July 2013. Therefore, for 25 and over, Dundalk is lagging behind the State figure by 4%. Out of these particular figures, perhaps the one that stands out the most is that the Live Register for the 25 and over age bracket was at its highest in July 2013. By July 2013 the recovery was underway yet it was here when the Live Register figure was at its highest in Dundalk for this category.
Looking now at the male vs female breakdown. With regards to under 25-year-old males, the State figure of 18,398 in February 2017 is 69% lower than its peak of 59,360 in August 2009. In Dundalk, the February 2017 figure of 387 is 61% lower than its peak of 1,003 in June 2009. Therefore, here Dundalk is 8% lower than the State figure. Looking at the 25 and over age bracket, the State figure of 141,350 in February 2017 is 42% lower than its peak of 243,845 recorded in July 2011. For Dundalk, the February 2017 figure of 2,429 is 36% lower than the peak of 3,811, recorded in August 2011. This is 6% lower than the State percentage recorded.
For females, the under 25-year-old figure recorded for the State in February 2017 of 13,078 is 64% lower than the peak of 36,252 recorded in August 2010. In Dundalk, the February figure of 232 is 67% lower than the peak figure of 695 recorded in July 2011. So, in this age bracket, females in Dundalk are surpassing the State percentage by 3%. Looking now at the 25 and over age bracket, the State figure recorded in February 2017 of 102,267 is 28% lower than the peak recorded in July 2013 of 141,345. For Dundalk, the February 2017 of 1,702 is 26% lower than the peak figure of 2,313 recorded in July 2013. Here, Dundalk is lower than the State percentage by 2%.
While at a first glance, some of these figures might not seem to be instantly relatable. For example, in the all ages female group the State is 33% lower than its peak in August 2011, while the Dundalk figure is also 33% lower than its peak but its peak was in July 2013). It does reveal however, information about the groups as to when their full-time employment figures were at their lowest, how long it is taking to recover, that there is a difference in Live Register numbers of men and women and the rates at which they return to full time employment and even in the rate at which different age groups return to full time employment.
It even shows that in some instances, some local Live Register figures were at their highest when the recovery was thought to be underway. If we are serious about returning as many of the workforce to full time work as possible, we should look at the different groups to see what progress each is making, as well as the challenges each faces and perhaps help focus on areas that need extra State resources.