Bloomberg News

Irish Payrolls Drop as Economy Struggles to Recover Jobs

December 12, 2011

(Adds economist’s comment in third paragraph, unemployment rate in fifth.)

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Irish payrolls fell an annual 2.5 percent in the third quarter as the economy struggled to recover from the worst recession in the nation’s modern history.

The numbers working fell 46,000 to 1.805 million in the third quarter from the same period a year ago, the Central Statistics Office in Cork said on its website today. The decline compares with a 2 percent fall in the second quarter.

“This update on the state of the jobs market paints a sobering picture,” said Simon Barry, chief Republic of Ireland economist at Ulster Bank Capital Markets in Dublin in a note. “While the overall economy has returned to positive economic growth, today’s numbers highlight that the resumption of employment growth remains elusive.”

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan is raising taxes and cutting spending to narrow the deficit, after the economy shrank about 15 percent from 2008. Companies including Aviva Plc, the U.K.’s second-biggest insurer, and TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc are cutting jobs in Ireland.

Employment fell in 10 of 14 economic sectors in the third quarter, the CSO said, with the biggest decline in education, followed by accommodation and food services. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the third quarter rose to 14.4 percent from 14.2 percent in the previous three months.

The number of people out of work on a long-term basis accounts for 56 percent of total unemployment in the third quarter, compared with 47 percent a year earlier.

Moody’s Investors Service said today Ireland’s economy will grow by 1 percent in 2012, less than the government’s 1.3 percent forecast.

--Editors: Dara Doyle, James Hertling

To contact the reporter on this story: Colm Heatley in Belfast at cheatley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net


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