The WUERC project came into being against the backdrop of a rapid increase in the number of unemployed people in Ireland. Between February 2006 and February 2012 the unemployment rate rose from 4.2% to 15% of the labour force. In 2012 a group of colleagues in the schools of Humanities and Business came together over a summer and with the goal of developing ┬álarge scale datasets around the experience of unemployment. Since its beginnings the research group have continued to delve into the problems of unemployment and sustainable employment. They produced a book in 2015 “The Sociology of Unemployment” published by Manchester University Press. More information is available in the WUERC Menu.

Understanding Unemployment in the Era of Big Data

This branch of the WUERC project is funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC) under the New Horizons Interdisciplinary Research Project Award 2016. The primary aim of the research is to explore how emerging analytical methods and computational tools can improve the experience of unemployment. Taking the recent deployment of the PEX algorithm (Probability of Exit from the live register) by the Irish department of Social Protection (DSP) as the point of departure, the project aims to produce data-driven models of unemployment dynamics that incorporate conventional and emerging theory on experiences of unemployment. The research will add to and strengthen the WUERC project by increasing its scope to national and international studies of unemployment and employment. A second aim of this research is to develop collaborations towards developing a European based project for Horizon 2020. More information is available in the PEX Menu.

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