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Employment, unemployment and Inactivity***

by Laurent GUERBY Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 03:51:38 AM EST

Thanks to Antoine Belgodere, an interesting report from Eurostat on inactivity rates (PDF) where population=employed+unemployed+inactive.

***From the front page. Many fascinating graphs provided in the comments section below.


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Very interesting! Thanks, Laurent!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 11:44:48 AM EST
I believe I'm going to hijack the wikipedia articles for unemployment to talk about the three composants of the population (employed,unemployed,inactive) instead of just two.
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 12:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not called hijacking, it's called improving. It's a wiki after all.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 12:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:20:36 PM EST
OECD figures, both sexes:

unemployment participation employed/population
FR 21.3 37.5 29.5
UK 10.9 67.4 60.1

Impressive differences.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:20:55 PM EST
Look at the strength of traditional gender roles in Malta!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:33:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, that's what the report notes too :)
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:03:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Data:

From the graph (0.5 accuracy per pixel reading)
inactivity illness explanation
FR male 6.5 female 20.0 total 26.5 male 1.5 female 1.5
UK male 9.0 female 23.0 total 32.0 male 5.0 female 5.0

From OECD 2004 on the 25-54 (see here)
unemployment participation employment/population
FR male 7.4 93.6 86.7 female 9.8 79.8 72.0 both 8.5 86.6 79.2
UK male 3.8 91.0 87.5 female 3.4 76.8 74.2 both 3.6 83.8 80.7

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So UK has 2.3 time less official unemployment on this age group (3.6% vs 8.5%). All of this with only 1.5% more employed people. This is to say about all of the difference in unemployment comes from the UK government convincing people they're inactive and not unemployed (in various ways) whereas the FR government wasn't as successful at this game. 1-0 for Blair. See the "willing to work" figure below for the so-called "inactive".
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since part time employment is 13.4% of employment in FR  vs 24.1% in UK, this makes the 1.5% difference in employment even less impressive as a 10 point difference is about 7 points of the whole population (if we assume 25-54 has more or less the same part time share as 15-64).
by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Jun 26th, 2006 at 07:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:21:14 PM EST
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:21:31 PM EST
I'd call this graph the measure of the efficiency of the psychological warfare of the official unemployment agencies: how much they discourage job seekers to show up . Lithuania (LV), Bulgaria (BG) and Estonia (EE) are the top "tough" guyes. Then come Austria, Italy and UK.
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:11:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:22:01 PM EST

Here FR does a much better job than UK at convincing people to be inactive rather than unemployed. Probably all the "pre-retirement" stuff, excluding retirement, UK wins.

From OECD, 55-64 both sexes:

unemployment participation employment/population
FR 6.3 39.6 37.1
UK 3.1 58.0 56.2

But still FR is not winning on the official unemployment measure.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:19:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is great: I've been meaning to write about this stuff for ages...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 04:29:56 PM EST
From the OECD: part time employment is 13.4% of employment in FR (80.6% of part time employed population is women) vs 24.1% in the UK (77.8% women).

So lots of part-time jobs on the UK side.

Average annual hours worked when in employment FR: 1441 UK: 1669 (15.8% more hours).

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:30:18 PM EST
UK business leaders think the 48h/wk limit in the European regulations is too restrictive, and the UK got an exemption. It is allowed, and I don't know how common it is, to make it a condition of employment that the employee will waive their right to work no more than 48h a week.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:33:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Population are pretty close UK vs FR. Eurostat database doesn't have UK population for 2004 so I used 2003 for UK. Population 15-64 is around UK: 39.1e6 FR: 39.3e6, 15-24/15-64 is UK: 19.4% FR:20.0%, 25-54/15-64 is UK: 63.4% FR: 63.8%, 55-64/15-64 is UK:17.2% FR:16.2%.

So a tad younger in France.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 05:48:29 PM EST
To express everything as percent of population:

employed/population = given

unemployed/population = participation_rate - employed/population

inactive/population = 1 - participation_rate

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 06:01:52 PM EST
OECD report with 2005 data (PDF).

On 25-54 male+female:


unemployment participation employment/population
   2004 2005
FR  8.8  8.7
   87.0 87.2
   79.3 79.6
UK  3.6  3.5
   83.8 84.1
   80.7 81.1

A bit better on the UK side, unless it's just favourable rounding :), but no big change in the global picture.

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 06:20:32 PM EST
Great diary, Laurent. Bit by bit we must move towards a more accurate and useful way of talking about employment-unemployment than the usual "unemployment statistics" propaganda.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 26th, 2006 at 08:09:28 AM EST


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