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Blog Archive | 2013

2013 - a busy year for the NERI

Posted on December 29, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
This month brings to a close a very busy year for the newly established Nevin Economic Research Institute. The NERI has begun to contribute to a much needed and long-overdue debate on policy evidence and policy choices in key areas of relevance to the trade union movement and wider society - labour market trends, public services, investment and wages.  Together with other researchers and …

Economic Development with a purpose

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The recent Government Medium-Term Economic Strategy, 2014-2020 ('A Strategy for Growth') is a welcome statement of key economic goals even if the Strategy lacks important detail and a more ambitious social perspective which learns from one of the greatest crisis that has emerged since the foundation of the Irish State. The goals of full employment, manageable household debt, an end to large-scale …

Where to now (Post-Troika)?

Posted on December 14, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A very strong narrative is gathering pace abroad and at home: There was ‘absolutely’ no alternative to ‘austerity’ in the case of Ireland once the storm broke in 2008; Ireland displayed remarkable and exceptional resilience, consensus and passivity in accepting the ‘tough’ decisions that ‘had to be made’ to restore public finances; The ‘tough’ decisions made and implemented …

Growth in Northern Ireland not what it seems

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

The latest figures for Gross Value Added in Northern Ireland were released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics. Gross Value Added is the closest measure to Gross Domestic Product we have for Northern Ireland, it is equal to Gross Domestic Product plus subsidies and minus indirect taxes. However it is derived from the calculation of National Accounts for the United Kingdom and as such …

Posted in: MacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland

What have a night-club dancer and an economist got in common? – CSO data and average earnings

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

The timeliest source of data on wages for PAYE workers in the Republic of Ireland comes from the “Earnings Hours and Employment Costs Survey” (EHECS). This is a very extensive survey and survey responses cover roughly 70% of employees. In comparison, surveys such as the National Employment Survey or Quarterly National Household Survey usually cover less than 5% of the population. However …

Posted in: IncomeJobsLabour costs

A Modest Proposal

Posted on December 08, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Suppose you were the Minister of Finance in 2009 and that you were held up and forced to hand over a lot of money to a number of bust banks?. You didn’t have the money at the time so you took it out of a special pension savings fund built up by taxpayers meant for the next 50 years. Suppose that, in the meantime, one of the banks involved turned solvent and returned a modest sum of money plus …

UK Autumn Statement fails to tackle underlying problems

Posted on December 05, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

In the Autumn Statement today the Office for Budget Responsibility has upgraded forecasts for growth in the UK economy from 0.6% to 1.4% for 2013. Furthermore they have upgraded forecasts for 2014 and 2015 to 2.4% and 2.2% respectively. While much attention has focused on the speed of the UK recovery, the composition of any such recovery matters just as much. The first point to make is that while …

Posted in: Government SpendingJobsMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland Taxation

Why is unemployment down 40,000, but the Live Register only down by 20,000?

Posted on December 04, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

The latest live register figures present something of a puzzle. Comparing to January to November 2013 with the same period last year numbers on the Live Register are down roughly 20,000 people. This is almost entirely due to a drop of new people claiming Job Seekers Benefit (new claimants are down roughly 25,000). This suggests that it is not that more new jobs are being created, but fewer …

Posted in: Jobs

Anglo-Irish Bank is dead. Long live its debt?

Posted on December 02, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Not that bank again! Much has been said and written about Anglo-Irish in the context of the banking collapse in 2008 and the sequence of historical events that takes us from the night of the Big Guarantee on 29th September 2008 (or perhaps a modern version of Oíche na gaoithe moiré)  When the Anglo-Irish Promissory Note deal was announced on 7th February 2013 many thought that this would be …

Posted in: Macroeconomics

Employment up for over 35s, but younger workers still losing jobs and leaving

Posted on November 26, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

The latest labour market data (released on 26 November 2013) is generally positive in terms of employment, but slightly negative in terms of earnings. However, strange patterns are emerging in terms of what age groups are getting the new jobs. Overall unemployment is down to 12.6% from 14.3% a year ago. This is driven by genuine job creation rather than emigration. In fact, the size of the labour …

Posted in: JobsLabour costs

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