Jobless rate highest since 1994
Live Register figures released today show jobless claims rose in January, pushing the unemployment rate in Ireland to the highest in more than 15 years.
Benefit applications, adjusted for seasonal swings, increased by 5,800 to 434,700, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in a statement today. The unemployment rate rose to 12.7pc, the highest since December 1994.
Royal Bank of Scotland last month said it plans to cut 196 jobs in Dublin, while Aer Lingus and Irish Life & Permanent are also reducing their workforces.
“Further job losses are expected this year although at a much reduced rate to that seen in 2009,” Deirdre Ryan, an economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin. Her forecast for unemployment to peak at 14pc “may be slightly too high” as the labour force shrinks due to emigration and more people returning to education, she said.
The Government sees unemployment averaging 13.2pc in 2010 compared with 11.8pc last year, and forecast in December that the number of people in work will decline 3.4pc. It expects the economy to resume expansion in the second half of the year.
Monthly jobless figures include part-time and seasonal workers who claim unemployment benefits. Based on the Quarterly National Household Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.4pc in the third quarter.