Saturday 27 December 2014

Unemployment rate 'down 0.1%'

Published 03/09/2014 | 11:52

Unemployment has been steadily falling
Unemployment has been steadily falling

The unemployment rate showed little change last month, dropping to 11.2%.

Official figures showing the number of people signing on the dole revealed a total of 398,325 people were on the Live Register in August.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the unemployment rate was down 0.1% on the previous month.

The review showed that in the 12 months to August, 36,955 people had stopped signing on for benefits but that long-term unemployment remained an issue in the labour market.

The CSO said 187,598 people had been on the dole for a year or more - a fall of 11,199 in the number of men but an increase of 1,989 in the number of women.

Some 47% of all the people signing on were classed as long-term unemployed, compared to 45.2% this time last year, the report showed.

Joan Burton, Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection, warned that the jobless figure remains high.

"These statistics, together with the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures published recently, show we are succeeding in tackling unemployment and that our economy and jobs market are recovering," she said.

"Our priority is to help unemployed people get back into work. We are beginning to see a positive turn in our domestic economy and it is imperative that we help those who have been hit during the recession get back on the ladder of recovery as quickly as possible."

The unemployment crisis peaked in Ireland at 15.1% in early 2012.

But the Live Register figures and CSO report does not take account of the tens of thousands of people emigrating from Ireland each year.

About 220,000 young people aged 15-35 left the country in the five years to April, separate CSO statistics show.

Mark Fielding, chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said calls for wage increases from Labour ministers and unions were stifling job growth.

"The pace of job creation is glacially slow, not helped by calls for wage increases from the usual quarters in trade unions and Labour ministers, the former attempting to bolster their dwindling numbers, while the latter have started their election campaign," he said.

"Hard-pressed business owners have still not seen the type of boom being championed by big business lobbyists and finance houses, who missed the signs of the economic crash and now want to magic the recovery through PR and spin."

Davy stockbrokers said the data was "further evidence that the recovery continued into the third quarter".

Press Association

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