Policy Research in Macroeconomics

Austerity Ireland – 5 years of worsening unemployment

The Irish Central Statistics Office today published the latest unemployment figures for the Republic – and they make dire reading.  The headline figure for June is 14.9%, up from 14.7% in May, and up from 14.4% a year earlier, in June 2011.  The latest quarterly figures given are for the 1st Quarter of 2012, at 14.8%.

At page 14 of the CSO’s press release we find a particularly striking (read shocking) table, which shows that unemployment has risen in Ireland without a pause over a perod of 5 years, if one compares each quarter with the same quarter (Q) in previous years.

The figures are as follows – and look at the vertical columns for the annual Q on Q comparisons:

    Year    Q1%    Q2%    Q3%    Q4%

    2007    4.4    4.5    4.5    4.8

    2008    4.8    5.6    6.9    8.0

    2009  10.1  11.9  12.5  12.8

    2010  12.9  13.6  13.6  14.4

    2011  14.1  14.3  14.6  14.5

    2012  14.8

To repeat, there is not a single Quarter which is equal to or better than the same period of the previous year.

No wonder Ireland is no longer showcased – as it was just a year ago – as the principal austerity pin-up country by the European Central Bank, European Commission or other commentators.  The failure of European austerity policy in Ireland is simply too evident, too abject.

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