The U.S. Employment Stats

This post first appeared on FloatingPath

The unemployment rate (U-3) decreased in November to 7.0% from 7.3% in October while the broader unemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 13.2% from 13.8%.

The labor force participation rate increased to 63.0% from 62.8%.

The employment-population ratio increased to 58.6% from 58.3%.

The labor force participation rate among all men increased in November to 69.4% from 69.2% in October. October reading was the lowest participation rate on record.

The labor force participation rate among all women increased to 57.0% from 56.9%.

Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked increased to 33.7 from 33.6 last month. Average hourly earnings increased to $20.31 from $20.28, making average weekly earnings of $684.45 from $681.41 last month.

The average duration of unemployment decreased in November to 37.2 weeks compared to 36.1 weeks in October.

I always include a longer time frame on this chart to provide some context of just how bad this recession has been for the long-term unemployed. This is still the leading employment indicator that shows how “this time is different.”

Percent of unemployed by duration:

  • Less than 5 weeks: 22.6% compared to 24.5% last month.
  • 5 to 14 weeks: 23.8% compared to 23.6% last month.
  • 15 to 26 weeks: 16.2% compared to 15.8% last month.
  • 27 weeks and over: 37.3% compared to 36.1% last month.

The unemployment rate of age groups:

  • 16 to 17: 23.7% compared to 24.1% last month.
  • 18 to 19: 19.2% compared to 21.1% last month.
  • 20 to 24: 11.6% compared to 12.5% last month.
  • 25 to 34: 7.4% compared to 7.3% last month.
  • 35 to 44: 5.7% compared to 5.8% last month.
  • 45 to 54: 5.5% compared to 5.9% last month.
  • 55+: 4.9% compared to 5.4% last month.

The unemployment rate for men decreased to 7.3% from 7.6%. The unemployment rate for women decreased to 6.7% from 6.9%.

The unemployment rate among all veterans in November was 6.7% from October’s 6.9%.

The unemployment rate among male veterans decreased to 6.5% from 6.7% last month. The wildly volatile female veteran unemployment rate was 8.0%, unchanged from last month.

Of the 4 racial groups tracked by the BLS, only Asians experienced a higher unemployment rate than the month prior:

  • White: 6.2% compared to 6.3% last month.
  • Black: 12.5% compared to 13.1% last month.
  • Asian: 5.3% compared to 5.2% last month.
  • Hispanic: 8.7% compared to 9.2% last month.

Unemployment rates by education level:

  • Less than a high school diploma: 10.8% compared to 10.9% last month.
  • High school graduates: 7.3% from 7.3% last month.
  • Some college or Associate degree: 6.4% from 6.3% last month.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 3.4% from 3.8% last month.

November was an unusually positive month for those seeking full-time jobs. By counting the total number of employed persons by employment status, we find that +652k full-time jobs were added in November as compared with -623k full-time jobs in October. Part-time jobs shifted +174k in November as compared with a -127k change in October.

This is yet another dramatic shift in employment status figures, and is the third such in a row.

Full-time jobs remain well below their previous high. The cumulative change in part-time and full-time jobs since July 2007:

The total number of part-time employed in November were 27.452 million from 27.278 million in October. The total number of full-time persons were 116.928 million from 116.276 million last month.

This means that the ratio of full-time workers to total workers in November was 80.99%, a decrease from October’s 81.00%, and historically very low.

This was another mixed report, but relatively strong. Adding +203k jobs in a single month is a positive, especially when the jobs are well spread across industries.

But the average duration of unemployment increased again this month. It’s important to pay attention to the average length of unemployment because it’s reflective of a wide variety of factors built into the labor market.

The decline in full-time jobs that occurred in October is being blamed on the federal government shutdown, and perhaps correctly so, but significant gains in full-time employment occurred in September and November. In December’s report, we’ll be able to see if full-time jobs are really being added at rapid pace, or if it will just zigzag again and December will cancel out November’s full-time jobs gains.

Full table of employment changes in November:

US payrolls change by industry Nov 2013

This post first appeared on FloatingPath

The job gains this month were fairly well spread across industries.

  • Mining and Logging: +0k payrolls compared to +3k last month.
  • Construction: +17k payrolls compared to +12k last month.
  • Manufacturing: +27k payrolls compared to +16k last month.
  • Wholesale Trade: +6.8k payrolls compared to -8.1k last month.
  • Retail Trade: +22.3k payrolls compared to +45.8k last month.
  • Transportation: +30.5k payrolls compared to +3.1k last month.
  • Information Services: -1k payrolls compared to +4k last month.
  • Financial Activities: -3k payrolls compared to +7k last month.
  • Professional Services: +35k payrolls compared to +38k last month.
  • Education: +40k payrolls compared to +40k last month.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: +17k payrolls compared to +49k last month.
  • Other Services: +4k payrolls compared to +4k last month.
  • Government: +7k payrolls compared to -14k last month.

Here’s the cumulative changes in payrolls by industry since July 2007. You can see Professional Services has added more jobs than any other sector during this period, followed closely by the Leisure and Hospitality sector.

London's unemployment rate falls again

The London area’s unemployment rate continued to fall in November, hitting 7.5 per cent, the lowest point in almost four years.

Statistics Canada released their monthly report Friday on the nation’s unemployment rate, including major cities.
But the figure for the London-St. Thomas area, although it drops the region below those with the highest rates in the province, may not be as positive as it seems at first glance.

In fact, according to Statistics Canada last month about 2,400 people dropped out of the local job market.
It's a trend John Griffiths, a career counsellor at the Goodwill Career Centre, is seeing first hand.

"People are finding work, so there's some real aspect to the reduction in the employment rate, but it's always a complicated number and it's partly about people who are withdrawing from the labour market, partly about people who are leaving London to find work as well, so it's a mixed message."

And according to Ivey Business School economics professor Frank Li, the jobs that are being created tend to be low-paying, like service-sector jobs.

He says right now there's little keeping young talent in the city, and he has seen that trend up close with his 150 graduate students.

"For example last year my best students went to Goldman Sachs, investment banks on Wall Street, none of them still live here. That's crazy! That's really bad for London."

But Kapil Lakhotia at the London Economic Development Corporation says the long-term employment trend is encouraging.
"There's a big psycholocial difference when you're looking at 9.9 - close to ten per cent unemployment rate - to now 7.5, much closer to the provincial average. It makes quite a substantial difference in the minds of a lot of people as well as potential investors who are looking at the city for long term investment."

Across the nation, the unemployment rate held at 6.9 per cent for the third straight month, despit the fact that Statistics Canada says the economy created about 21,600 new jobs.

Strong UK Employment Figures

The latest employment data from the Office for national Statistics shows employment up and unemployment down.

There were 29.95 million people in employment aged 16 and over, which is up 177,000 from April to June 2013 and up 378,000 an a year ago.

The employment rate for those age 16 to 64 was 71.8%, which is up 0.3 percent from April to June 2013 and up 0.6 percent from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate for the economically active was 0.2 percent down on April to june 2013 at 7.6 percent and the number of unemployed 16-64 year olds had decreased 69,000 to 8.92 million, which is 149,000 lower than a year ago.
Nida Ali, economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, commented:

“Today’s strong figures for the labour market show a sharp increase in employment and fall in unemployment on both the ILO measure and the claimant count. The labour market momentum has picked up further, supporting other strong economic indicators over the past couple of months.

“But, these figures will put pressure on the Bank due to expectations of an earlier interest rate rise. The single month estimate of unemployment has fallen to 7.1%, only 0.1ppt away from the 7% forward guidance threshold. The Bank’s expectation of unemployment falling to 7% only by mid-2016 now looks very conservative and we will probably see a significant improvement in the forecast in today’s Inflation Report.

“As yet, higher employment appears to be putting no upward pressure on wages. At just 0.8%, earnings growth is still lagging well behind the 2.2% inflation rate so the squeeze on households is yet to ease. However rising employment and a shortage of skills, as confirmed by the latest CBI survey, should allow workers to bargain for better wages as the labour market strengthens.”

Statistics on severity of labour crisis do not tally

ACCORDING to Statistics South Africa’s employment figures released last month, the unemployment rate fell sharply from 25.6% to 24.7% in the third quarter of this year. During the quarter, 308,000 more people were employed than in the previous quarter, with the formal sector contributing most of these jobs.

Stats SA adds that a further 114,000 people left unemployment, with large numbers expressing newfound hope about their prospects of finding work. According to the report, the improvement is not a once-off event: Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) indicates that employment rose in seven of the past nine quarters.

According to Stats SA’s report, employment has risen from 13-million at the bottom of the 2010 recession to more than 14-million this year — a gain of more than 1-million jobs. But we know that economic growth slowed from 4% to 1.7% a year over the same period. Moreover, since 2008, the number of unemployed has risen from 3.9-million to 4.6-million. At present, 25% of people — and 32% of those aged 15-24 — are neither in education nor employment.

An important statistic released recently suggests that there is a great deal more employment than Stats SA surveys suggest. The latest Tax Statistics reports that there were 15,418,920 individual taxpayers in South Africa as at February 28. The reason this statistic is so important is that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) now requires that all employees, irrespective of earnings, are registered for pay as you earn (PAYE). Previously, only employees earning above the tax threshold were required to be registered for PAYE.

Adcorp approached the Treasury and Stats SA in an attempt to square SARS’s figure of the number of people registered for PAYE — 15.4-million — with Stats SA’s reported total employment figure of 13,721,000 for the same period — a discrepancy of 12.4%. As it is doubtful that 712,000 farm workers, 1,093,000 domestic workers and 2,221,000 informal sector workers are registered for PAYE to any significant degree, this leaves 9,694,000 formal, nonfarming, nondomestic workers, according to Stats SA — a discrepancy with SARS’s statistics of 59.1%.

The Treasury confirmed that the PAYE figure "includes retired people and ex-employees and spouses who are still on record", which suggests there may be some overcounting in SARS’s figures. But as employer compliance with SARS’s new PAYE regulations improves, we may yet discover that SARS’s figure is, itself, undercounting the number of employees receiving any sort of income.

In separate correspondence, Stats SA said it was attempting to reconcile the SARS and QLFS data, and has been doing so since early last year. An announcement by Stats SA is due soon, according to its population statistics department.

The upshot is that there can be no question that South Africa’s labour market is in crisis. Two important indicators of the cyclical health of the labour market — the involuntary retrenchment rate (which is at a record high) and the rate of voluntary job changes (at a record low) — suggest that the job market is in a deep crisis.

Pennsylvania's statistics on jobs related to gas drilling raise questions

HARRISBURG - It might sound good as a campaign claim, especially if you're trying to take credit for it: The Marcellus shale natural gas industry supports more than 200,000 jobs, goes an online ad for Gov. Tom Corbett. Then there's what Corbett said in his first re-election campaign speech: "The energy industry in Pennsylvania is now supporting the livelihoods of over 200,000 people and their families."

The statistic comes from a state Department of Labor and Industry report, whose authors don't exactly make the same claim. It is the agency's estimate of employment at Pennsylvania businesses in 36 different lines of work that have some sort of relationship to the exploration of the Marcellus shale, the nation's largest-known natural gas reservoir.

That number was about 232,000 at the end of March, an increase of roughly 31,000 over the four years that drilling has boomed in the Marcellus shale.

The flipside is the Labor and Industry Department report does not include out-of-state businesses - say, Ohio and West Virginia companies that send pipeline or drilling services crews to Pennsylvania - and it does not include railroads, law firms, hotels, quarries or certain other lines of business that have handled rising demand because of the drilling boom.

Patrick Henderson, a deputy chief of staff for Corbett who spearheads energy policy, said the department's figure requires context, but he would not say it is necessarily inaccurate. Rather, the figure is conservative, Henderson said, because it does not take into account a ripple effect of money being spent in the state's economy because of people whose work involves some sort of relationship with Marcellus shale or people who benefit from lower gas prices and the royalties from the gas harvested beneath their land.

The Labor and Industry Department statistic counts six "core" industries that involve oil and gas extraction and pipelines. Over four years, those jobs grew by 17,414 to 28,155.

Then it counts 30 "ancillary" industries, including highway construction, metal making, laboratories, trucking, power plants and engineers. Over four years, those jobs grew by 13,352 to 203,814.

Tim Kelsey, a Penn State professor of agricultural economics and a co-director of the university's Center for Economic and Community Development, said an academic economist's very rough calculation of the job impact would be closer to multiplying by two the increase in core jobs - 17,414 - to get a figure of about 34,000 or 35,000. And that includes ripple effects, Kelsey said.

No limit on Indian students in UK, need to watch immigration: Cameron

Seeking to allay the concerns of students looking to pursue education in the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday said there was no limit on the number of Indian students in his country, although he did add that they needed to keep a tab on immigration.

"There is no limit on the number of Indian students in Britain... What is needed is genuine students who have genuine British university admissions," Cameron said in an interaction in Delhi.

Although the number of students going to Britain to study had swelled to 60,000 in 2009, that figure has come down and the country is now attracting the more genuine students.

Stressing on the need for stricter immigration controls, which was not been there in the last 10 years, Cameron said students should be aiming to work in graduate jobs and not any other jobs.

"I think people will understand that for a country like Britain, much smaller geographically than India, we have to control immigration. We had a policy on immigration. It wasn't well managed, it wasn't well controlled over a 10-year period.

We had an additional 2 million people coming into Britain, which is a big number," he said.

Advocating a proper immigration control regime, Cameron said, "Within such immigration control, we want to have the most attractive offers for students from around the world and I think the two new limits, the limit on numbers and the

limit on staying on to work in a graduate job, make for a very good offer.

"University graduates should be aiming to work in graduate jobs. I think it is a fair approach," he added.

The British PM's visit to India follows his country's decision to scrap the controversial Pounds 3,000 visa bond scheme for "high risk" overseas visitors, the list for which included people from India.

Saudi police clash with foreign workers after visa raids

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian police clashed with foreign workers in a poor district of Riyadh on Saturday, nearly a week into a visa crackdown in which thousands have been detained and one man killed by police.

Security forces in riot gear fired into the air and used truncheons to disperse large crowds as scores of men ran through the streets, some throwing stones and other objects at cars and police, according to Reuters witnesses.

Two people were killed of which one was a Saudi while the other one was unidentified, the Saudi police said in a statement later on Saturday after it detained 561 people involved in the disturbances in the Manfuhah neighborhood of southern Riyadh.

The police added that 68 people were injured. Most of the foreign workers involved in the clashes appeared to be Africans.

Unemployment rate still at 6.9 per cent: Statistics Canada

Canada’s jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent as the economy created a moderate 13,200 jobs in October, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

It was the second month in a row Canada’s jobless rate has been below 7 per cent, its lowest level since the Great Recession five years ago. On the other hand, the U.S. jobless rate nudged higher, to 7.3 per cent from 7.2 per cent, according to a separate household survey. However, that was seen mainly due to the impact of the government shutdown, as 80,000 federal workers went on temporary furlough for 16 days.

Canada’s steady performance was largely overshadowed by unexpectedly strong U.S. job creation data - the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs, double the consensus estimate, as manufacturing, business services and retail all made solid gains, the U.S. Labor Department said.

Toronto stocks rose while the Canadian dollar slipped against a higher U.S. dollar on the reports.

A strengthening U.S. job market is seen as a positive for Canada as it could lead to higher U.S. demand for Canadian exports, a missing ingredient in the country’s recovery from the Great Recession of 2008.

It also raises the prospect the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin withdrawing billions of dollars in economic stimulus sooner than expected.

U.S. stocks also rose, shaking off an initial drop in futures, as the job creation figures for August and September were also revised higher by 60,000.

Economists had expected the government shutdown to have a more severe impact on the U.S. economy. But “while consumers and businesses reported feeling less confident during the month, it didn’t appear to be enough to change their normal buying and hiring activities,” TD Bank economist James Marple wrote in a note to clients.

Canada’s jobs number, meanwhile, was slightly above the 11,000 consensus forecast. However, average monthly gains for the past six months have been below normal, at just under 24,000, economists said.

Still, October’s numbers were strong enough that the Bank of Canada’s trend-setting interest rate is likely to remain unchanged at 1 per cent into 2015, economists said.

Jobless rate steady but expected to fall

The Australian economy added just 1,100 jobs in October, but recent retail spending and housing data could be a sign improvement is on the way.

October's unemployment rate was steady at 5.7 per cent, after the September rate was revised up from 5.6 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. The Australian dollar dropped by about half a US cent when the jobs data was released, below 95 US cents. This is a clear hike in unemployment rate as an year ago the unemployment rate was 5.3 per cent.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the labour market has been disappointing over the past few months.

"The jobs market remains very weak," he said.

"The weakness in the labour market is highlighted by a continuing switching in jobs from full time to part time as companies seek to contain costs."

Full time employment fell by 27,900 in October, while part time employment rose by 28,900, the ABS said.

But Dr Oliver is confident employment growth will strengthen, saying recent jobs figures reflect the weakness in the economy over the past 12 months.

"It's important to note that employment is a lagging indicator of the economy," he said.

"With leading economic indicators like prices for houses and shares, housing construction approvals and business and consumer confidence on the rise, this suggests that jobs growth should start to improve sometime around mid-next year."

The participation rate stayed at a seven year low of 65.8 per cent in October, which Dr Oliver said is a sign job seekers are getting discouraged, preferring to stay in education or take early retirement.

RBC Capital Markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the employment figures wouldn't worry the RBA, nor spark a rate cut in the short term.

"They've been talking about a softer labour market and a likely increase in the unemployment rate," she said.

"I think it provides a bit of a reminder that the easing bias by the RBA, modest as it is, remains intact."

Ms Ong expects the unemployment rate to move towards six per cent in the short term.

"A lot depends on participation, that continues to slide," she said.

"But there's more to the employment market than the unemployment rate, when you look at the range of labour market indicators from employment to population, through to participation, the labour market is pretty soft."

UK scraps visa bond scheme ahead of PM David Cameron's visit to India

In a major relief for travellers from Asia and Africa, the UK has scrapped its controversial 3,000-pound "security visa bond" for some "high-risk" foreign visitors.

"The Government has been considering whether we pilot a bond scheme that would deter people from overstaying the visa. We have decided not to proceed," a spokesperson for the British Home Office said Sunday.

The move comes ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron's third visit to India in last two years on November 14.

Cameron, who will make a day-long visit before heading to Sri Lanka to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on November 15-16, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on key bilateral and regional issues.

India, which was one of the countries targeted with the bond, had expressed its concern to the UK government both at the ministerial and official levels.

The visa bond scheme, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in June, was to come into force this month.

Hugo Swire, Britain's Minister of state for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said recently that "no decision was taken on the visa bond scheme".

The decision to scarp the scheme is thought to have been taken after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg threatened to block it.

The aim of the scheme was to reduce the number of people from some "high-risk" countries - including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria - staying in the UK once their short-term visas expired.

Visitors would have paid a 3,000-pound cash bond before arrival in the UK that would have been forfeited if they failed make the return trip.

India moves towards paperless immigration

India is drawing up a list of trusted travellers who will not have to provide immigration details and fill forms to go abroad. It would set up an automated border control (ABC) mechanism, a replica of the US global entry programme but tailored to suit Indian needs, at international airports, said officials.

The decision was made after the US offered to include India in its trusted travellers programme during the recent visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

After the visit, a proposal was mooted by the Bureau of Immigration in conjunction with worldwide global travel practices. It was discussed with the ministry of home affairs and civil aviation authorities at a meeting to finalise modalities for what will be referred to as e-gate or ABC. However, if the US is too intrusive the list may not be shared with it, it was suggested at the meeting.

The facility will initially help trusted travellers and will be later extended to others. The first list would comprise people with official and diplomatic passports, the officials said. In the first phase, the facility will also be extended to businessmen who are frequent fliers and eminent personalities. Later, diplomats of other countries will be allowed paperless immigration on a reciprocal basis, said officials.

The government plans to charge a registration fee for the facility but is yet to decide if it will be one time or per trip.

The US programme requires one to apply online and schedule an interview with custom and border protection authorities, who determine eligibility. A fee has to be deposited before availing the benefit.

E-gate will have data of travellers and will be connected to Indian missions, which will provide the details under Immigration, Visa and Foreigner's Registration & Tracking. "A pre-authorisation will not only reduce hassles at the airport but will also not require a traveller to go through immigration checks. We are also planning to include biometric details of travellers, which will mean facial recognition or finger prints, in e-gate," a senior home ministry official said.

Saudi Arabia visa crackdown: Foreign workers stay home

The streets of the Saudi capital Riyadh were unusually quiet on Monday as many expatriates stayed at home to avoid the start of a government crackdown on illegal foreign workers.

Building sites were deserted, Riyadh's stuttering rush-hour traffic flowed smoothly and many shops and market stalls were closed in normally busy neighbourhoods that are home to large numbers of Saudi Arabia's lower-income foreign community.

The government of the world's top oil exporter has promised raids on businesses, markets and residential areas to catch expatriates whose visas are invalid because they are not working for the company that 'sponsored' their entry into the kingdom.

In the Riyadh Industrial Zone, where many workers are foreigners, most shops were closed on Monday morning, according to a witness who said he saw a dozen people scurry for cover when they heard a police siren from a nearby road.

"Nobody has come to buy anything at all today. It's a very bad situation," said Abu Safwat, a Syrian who owns a machine parts shop in the area.

The enforcement of visa rules is another effort to end a black market for cheap imported workers, cut the foreign labour force and free up private-sector jobs for Saudi nationals.

"The field security campaign, in coordination with the Labour Ministry, will take place in all cities, provinces, villages and rural towns," Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Mansour Turki said in a statement on Sunday.

The official Saudi unemployment rate of 12 percent excludes a large number of citizens who say they are not seeking a job.

Raising private sector employment in a country where most Saudis are in government jobs, and where businesses employ more foreigners than locals, is a major challenge for the kingdom.

About nine million foreigners, mostly unskilled labourers or domestic workers, live alongside 18 million Saudis. The money they send home is vital for their own nations, such as Yemen, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Egypt.

Over 2,000 Nigerians overstaying in India

AS Nigeria expressed concern over the safety of its nationals in India, government data shows ensuring this will not be an easy task.

More than 2,000 Nigerians are currently illegally overstaying in India and it won't be easy to track them down, said officials.

According to the data maintained by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) under the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), as many as 2,235 Nigerians are illegally staying in the country, the highest among all the African nations.

Sudan comes second, with 1,406 nationals overstaying in India after the expiry of their visa.

A total of 5,931 people from the African continent are living in India without proper authorisation papers.

Officials said a sizeable number were lodged in prisons across the country.

The data was collected after scrutinising the travel and visa details of 82 immigration check posts all over India, which cater to international traffic.

A senior official said this was a rough estimate of Nigerians living in the country illegally, and there could be other cases too where somebody had entered the country through illegal means.

An officer said there had been a shift in trend with most Nigerians entering the country on a student visa as against the business visa applied earlier. An officer said that many came on tourist visas too.

According to the FRRO data, it was not only those from the African nations who overstayed.

Several nationals of developed countries like the US, UK, Sweden, France and Canada were also found to be flouting visa conditions.

A total of 2,465 US nationals were living illegally in India while 1,456 from UK have overstayed.

Decrease in the unemployment rate in South Africa and Ireland

Stats: Unemployment lower than expected

Johannesburg - The decrease in the unemployment rate to 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013, from 25.6 percent in the second quarter, is below market expectations, an economist said on Tuesday.

“Although the unemployment rate declined, meaningful and sustained job creation that brings unemployment down to single digits will remain restricted,” said Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan.

“Expanding the definition of unemployment to include those individuals who desire employment regardless of whether they were actively seeking work at the time the survey was conducted, yields a substantially higher unemployment rate of 35.6 percent.”

Kaplan said weak economic growth prospects, labour market inefficiencies, and an insufficient rate of small business formation all contributed to the restriction.

Statistics SA (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday that the unemployment rate dropped to 24.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

Number of jobless below 400,000 for first time since 2009

Ireland’s unemployment rate continued to fall during the month of October, dipping below the 400,000 mark for the first time in four years but still “unacceptably high”.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a monthly drop from 13.3 per cent to 13.2 per cent, a 16th consecutive decrease.

The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton tentatively welcomed the results, saying that while positive, things were not improving at quite the pace she would like.

“It still means that unemployment is unacceptably high but this month during October the register fell below 400,000 people for the first time in four years and that is good news,” she said.

In unadjusted terms, there were 396,500 people signing on the register during October - down 23,700 in the year - showing that for the first time since May, 2009 the figure has fallen below the 400,000 threshold.

Singapore's Q3 job market tight

SINGAPORE, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- The job market in the third quarter of 2013 stayed tight, as unemployment declined amid fewer layoffs, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

Employment creation remained high, though it moderated from the previous quarter.

These are the key preliminary findings from the "Employment Situation, Third Quarter 2013" report released by the Ministry of Manpower's Research and Statistics Department.

The report said unemployment remained low, reflecting strong manpower demand.

Preliminary estimates showed that the seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate was 1.8 per cent in September 2013, down from 2.1 per cent in June 2013.

Similarly, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased over the quarter from 2.9 per cent to 2.6 per cent for residents and from 3.1 per cent to 2.8 per cent for Singapore citizens.

Employment growth was driven mainly by services and construction, which added more workers than in the same period last year.

Total employment rose by 28,100 in the third quarter of 2013, lower than the gains of 33,700 in the previous quarter, but higher than the 26,200 in the third quarter last year.

This brought total employment to 3,448,300 in September 2013, which was 4.1 per cent higher than a year ago.

Redundancy declined, after increasing in the previous quarter. Some 2,600 workers were laid off in the third quarter of 2013, down from 3,080 in the preceding quarter and 2,850 in the third quarter of 2012.

More than a quarter of young Australians not in full-time work or study

More than a quarter of those aged 17 to 24 in Australia are not in full-time work or full-time study, according to report on education outcomes across Australia’s states and territories (by Council of Australian Governments (COAG)), reveal a difficult transition from school to employment.

In some states, like Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, that figure edged closer to one in three. And among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, that figure was above 40%.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the release highlights “the immediate need for a concerted effort by both state and national governments to boost youth employment and put skills development integrated with work for young Australians back on the national agenda”.

The number of young people in full-time work or employment has declined 1.2% since COAG last looked at the issue in the relative boom-times of 2006. Even then, however, the figures showed 26.1% of young people in that age bracket were not in full-time work or education. Now 27.3% of Australia’s young people fit into this category, which the report states puts them at a greater risk of an insecure future.

The falling labour force participation by young people was partially offset in COAG’s figures by a rise in young people in full-time education. The proportion of 17 to 24 year olds engaged in full-time study increased from 28.6% in 2006 to 32% in 2011.

“What happens to young people when they leave school is crucial to how we meet the future demands of our economy – and to the quality of their lives,” he said, crediting the worsening situation, in part, with the lingering effects of the global financial crisis.

The employer body pointed to the removal of government incentives around apprenticeships as having caused a drop in apprenticeship numbers. “The apprenticeship has been neglected by government and needs to be revived so we do not create a lost generation of Australians who missed out on opportunities to develop skills that enable them to secure sustainable employment.”

Young unemployment is regularly higher than Australia’s overall unemployment rate. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, which measure the number of young people 15 to 19 years old who are not studying and are actively looking for work, 25.5% of young people are unemployed. Total unemployment in Australia is 5.7%.

The issue of youth unemployment came up in the recent federal election campaign. The then-government considered forcing young job seekers into army-style youth boot camps before giving them the dole, while the Liberal-National coalition went to the election with a policy to suspend dole payments for those under 30 if unskilled work is available in their area.