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A decrease in the unemployment rate has a positive influence on well-being.

Year
201313.9
201411.9
20159.8
20168.6

Performance of indicator:

The unemployment rate, measured quarterly by the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS), has steadily fallen from 13.9% in 2013 to 8.6% in 2016.

Justification of indicator:

The Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report highlights the effects of unemployment on individuals, which go beyond the direct consequences for the economy (and the spending power of the affected individual) and delve into the deeper, more personal aspects of their lives.  It states that “people who become unemployed report lower life-evaluations, even after controlling for their lower income, and with little adaptation over time; unemployed people also report a higher prevalence of various negative effects (sadness, stress and pain) and lower levels of positive ones (joy). These subjective measures suggest that the costs of unemployment exceed the income-loss suffered by those who lose their jobs, reflecting the existence of non-pecuniary effects among the unemployed and of fears and anxieties generated by unemployment in the rest of society”.[1]

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/118025/118123/Fitoussi+Commission+report (paragraph 74)

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A decrease in the long-term unemployment rate has a positive influence on well-being.

Year
20138.1
20146.8
20155.5
20164.4

Performance of indicator:

The long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 8.1% of the labour force in 2013 to 4.4% in 2016. Long-term unemployment is the measure of those who have been unemployed for at least one year.

Justification of indicator:

Short-term unemployment, although harsh for the individual, can be a natural part of an economy. Individuals could be between jobs or work contracts. Long-term unemployment however is usually caused by different factors such as the re-structuring of an economy and a necessary re-skilling of the work-force. It can have a negative impact on two fronts for individuals. Firstly, it can cause financial instability and secondly, can psychologically impact the individual through stress and decreased self-esteem. A high level of long-term unemployment is detrimental for the well-being of a society and is one of the causes of persistent poverty.[2]

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An increase in the employment rate of those with a disability has a positive influence on well-being.

Year
201329
201427
201528
201629

Performance of indicator:

The employment rate of persons with a disability was 28.6% in 2013. This fell to 27.4% in 2014. The rate has increased since then and was 29.0% in 2016.

Justification of indicator:

People with disabilities face many barriers in society as a whole and in the area of employment in particular. A situation whereby rates of employment among the disabled are much lower than rates of employment among the general population place disabled people more at risk of suffering the negative impacts that are commonly associated with unemployment; for example, reduced financial stability, stress, lower levels of mental and physical health. In 2016, there were approximately 86,200 (or 21.6%) persons with a disability in the labour force.

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A decrease in the percentage of people working in excess of 48 hours per week has a positive influence on well-being.

Year
20137
20147
20159
20168

Performance of indicator:

The percentage of those employed whose usual working hours are greater than 48 hours per week was 7.1% in 2013. It increased to 8.5% in 2015 before falling slightly in 2016 to 8.4%.

Justification of indicator:

This measure provides an insight into how people spend their time, and is also a sign of an individual’s work-life balance.  The maximum time an individual is allowed to work on average over long periods of time is 48 per week, according to the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.[3] Long working hours can potentially have a detrimental effect on an individual’s work-life balance, increase health problems, and increase safety risks.

[3] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1997/act/20/enacted/en/html

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An increase in the percentage of persons who have lost their job due to being forced to do so by their employer has a negative influence on well-being.

Year
201115
201215
201313
20149
201511

Performance of indicator:

Of the people that change job each year, the percentage that do so as a result of being forced to do so by their employer has decreased from 15% in 2011 to 11% in 2015. Being obliged to leave job by employer includes reasons such as; being dismissed, made redundant, a business closing, or early retirement.

Justification of indicator:

The feeling of stability in one’s own job is an important contributor to one’s well-being. A lack of job stability can lead to economic insecurity, and a potential inability to afford specific material living conditions which can contribute towards well-being. This can be the case even in a society which has low levels of unemployment. A decrease in the rate of this indicator represents an improvement in societal well-being.

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An increase in the percentage of persons who have experienced discrimination in the workplace has a negative influence on well-being.

Year
200441
201048
201450

Performance of indicator:

The percentage of individuals aged 18 and over that have experienced discrimination in the workplace was 50% in 2014. This is two percentage points higher than 2010 (48%), and nine higher than 2004 (41%).

Justification of indicator:

High levels of discrimination in the workplace point to an unequal and unfair society. For the individual, discrimination can deeply affect their esteem, self-confidence and impinge on their human rights.  The foundations upon which discrimination can exist in the workplace are many, including but not limited to, gender, age, and religious views. Including a measure of the existence of discrimination can provide an indication of the overall level of fairness in a workplace.

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