The Regional Macro Economic Context
At State level average disposable income per person fell from €23,239 in 2008 to €21,356 in 2009, representing a decline of €1,883 or 8.1 per cent. A similar picture emerged at regional level with all regions experiencing declines between 2008 and 2009. The greatest decrease occurred in the Mid-East and South East (-9.5%) and the least in the West (-6.1%).
Of the eight regional authority areas, the Dublin region had the highest average disposable income per person in 2009. At €24,316 the average disposable income per person in Dublin was 13.9 % higher than the State figure of €21,356. No other regional authority area had an average disposable income per person higher than that State total. The Border (€19,233) and Midland (€19,345) regional authority areas fared worst among the eight regions. The percentage premium of 13.9 % which Dublin had compared with the State total in 2009 was similar to that in 2008. Dublin was the only region ahead of the State average during the entire 2000-2009 period while the Midland and Border regions occupied the lowest ends of the disposable income distribution range for the most recent four years.
The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2011 in the S&E region was 1,571,000, representing a decrease of 8,200 (-0.5%) over the year. This compares with an annual labour force decrease for the region of 19,500 (-1.2%) in Q4 2010.
The total number in employment in the region in the fourth quarter 2011 was 1,351,600 representing a decrease of 7,200 (-0.5%) over the year. This compares with the decrease in the number in employment in the region of 46,000 (3.3%) in Q4 2010.
The scale and speed of the economic decline has seen a sharp rise in unemployment. The unemployment rate has risen to 14.3% in Ireland by the 4th quarter of 2011
Unemployment increased in the state by 3,000 (+1.0%) in the year to Q4 2011. This brings the total number of persons unemployed to 302,000 with all of the annual increase in unemployment accounted for by females (+3,900 or +4.1%).
The average number of persons unemployed in 2011 was 304,200, an increase of 12,500 (+4.3%) over the average number of persons unemployed in 2010 which was 291,700.
The long-term unemployment rate increased from 7.3% to 8.6% over the year to Q4 2011. Long-term unemployment accounted for 60.3% of total unemployment in Q4 2011 compared with 51.5% a year earlier and 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged over the quarter at 14.6%.
The total number of persons in the labour force in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 2,109,800, representing a decrease of 12,400 (-0.6%) over the year.
This compares with an annual labour force decrease of 33,000 (-1.5%) in Q4 2010.
At a NUTS 11 level the 4th quarter 2011 reported unemployment rate for the S&E region is 14.0%. This masks some significant regional differences with the South-East NUTS unemployment rate of 18.9% contrasting with the Mid-East region’s 12.3%.