Unemployment rate remains at 13-year high
Ireland's unemployment rate was the highest in 13 years in June as companies cut jobs amid the worst recession since the state was formed in 1922.
The jobless rate climbed to 11.9 percent in June from a revised 11.6 percent in May, the Central Statistics Office said today. Benefit applications, adjusted for seasonal swings, increased by 11,400 to a record 413,500.
The economy has been hit by a collapse in the property market, a manufacturing slump and the global financial crisis. Companies from Dell to Diageo are reducing staff numbers, and Smurfit Kappa said today it will cut as many as 140 jobs at its plant in Waterford. The unemployment rate may reach 15.5 percent by the end of the year, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said today.
“The rapid deterioration in the labor market over the last year has been one of the most dramatic features of the economic downturn,” Ronnie O’Toole, chief economist at National Irish Bank, said in a research report today. “This rapidity became particularly acute at the start of the year, though the signs are that this has peaked.”