Easter Holiday has cut Jobless Claims – Is Universal Basic Income of €198 Per Month Needed?

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The sun is shining, the spring is coming. Finally the spring season is in our step and it is time for the great Easter egg hunt. Many people will take Easter as the opportunity to spend time with their family, hunt for Easter eggs and go on holiday. On the flip side it’s actually a great time to do your job hunting.
The second quarter is the busiest time for the job market (post bonus payouts). Not only is there an increase in the number of vacant roles but there is greater competition amongst applicants for these roles. In the first quarter many people were waiting for their bonuses to be paid, but now that most people have received them, we see an increase in the number of people looking at what the external market has to offer.

Despite of the job market that are opening up again, many small businesses are hiring due to increase of the demand during Easter holiday. Believe it or not, it is just about supply and demand. More and more seasonal jobs are open to the public since more and more people are coming to visit. The tourism business is growing during the spring seasons. The good news is people are also looking for securing new employments at the same time when the job vacancies are opening up. This is the fact that has been reoccurring every year.
Just look at Spain for instance, registered unemployment fell in March 2016 on the back of the Easter holiday, which boosted the Spanish job market.

There were 58,216 fewer jobless claims compared to February 2016, although there are still 4,094,770 people out of a job, according to Labor Ministry figures.
A comparison of aggregate figures between March 2015 and March 2016 also shows a positive trend, with 432,970 new Social Security affiliations, a 2.81% rise over the course of 12 months.
On the other hand, the Irish unemployment rate has also decreased for the past months. Based on Central Statistics Office, Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 6.0 percent in February of 2018 from 6.1 percent in the previous month and compared with 7.3 percent a year earlier. It was the lowest jobless rate since May of 2008. Unemployment Rate in Ireland averaged 10.96 percent from 1983 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 17.30 percent in December of 1985 and a record low of 3.90 percent in April of 2001.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 141,600 in February of 2018, down from 143,900 when compared to the prior month and a decline of 28,000 when compared to last year.
The unemployment rate was 6.5 percent for males, remaining unchanged from January and down from 7.1 percent a year earlier; while for females the jobless rate was recorded at 5.5 percent, down from 5.6 percent the previous month and from 7.1 percent in February of 2017. The number of males unemployed went down by 1,000 from the prior month to 82,600, while the number of females unemployed fell by 1,300 to 59,000.

The youth unemployment rate decreased to 13.2 percent in February, after a 13.5 percent in the previous month. It was the lowest jobless rate since June of 2008.
Ireland Unemployment Rate

Here are the summary points:
  • In February 2018 the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5% for males, unchanged from January 2018 and down from 7.4% in February 2017.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in February 2018 was 5.5%, down from 5.6% in January 2018 and down from 7.1% in February 2017.
  • The seasonally adjusted number of males unemployed in February 2018 was 82,600, down from 83,600 in January 2018. In February 2018 the seasonally adjusted number of females unemployed was 59,000, a decrease of 1,300 when compared to January 2018.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 years (youth unemployment rate) was 13.2% in February 2018, a decrease from 13.5% in January 2018.

After all, is the universal basic income of €198 per month needed in Ireland?
Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens a universal basic monthly income, amounting to €560, in a unique social experiment which is hoped to reduce poverty and boost employment. If Irish government would like to implement it, this could turn into €198 per month scheme, by converting the €198 welfare benefit for personal rate into account.

The two-year trial with 2,000 randomly picked citizens who receive unemployment benefits kicked off on January 1 2017.  To those who has chosen will receive €560 every single month, with no reporting requirements on how they spend it and on what they spend it for.
For some, the universal basic income could be the answer instead of the unemployment or welfare benefit that doesn’t give people the true freedom in their employment choices. It is just like carrot and stick methodology. People are forced to find employments when they receive the welfare benefit. Knowing that after they get a job, the government will cut or even remove the welfare benefit and turn it into tax obligation. These regulations make lazy unemployed people become even lazier. Knowing that they won’t get the free money as soon as they get a job, make their brain refuses to work. That counts as one of many reason why the employment rate in Europe is constant and never goes down.

On the other hand, the universal basic income will incentivise people to get a job that they love. Knowing that even if they find a job that they love, they still can hold on to their universal basic income benefit, makes them motivated to find employment as soon as possible. Of course, on the flip side, this system still does not guarantee that people will not become worse and lazier than the current welfare system, with the knowledge of getting a basic income without doing anything.

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