An extra 87,000 to join dole in 2010, warns FAS
Published 13/02/2010 | 05:00
State training agency FAS has predicted that 87,000 more people will find themselves out of a job in 2010, compared to last year -- and the agency says unemployment next year will rise by another 11,000.
FAS's latest jobs report says unemployment will peak at around 13.5pc later this year, although this is well below other forecasts of 16pc. It says the unemployment rate will slow, compared to last year, when employment plunged by around 172,000 as the workforce shrank from 2.1 million to 1.93 million.
However, FAS warns that its predictions are based on optimistic economic forecasts and says unemployment could soar even higher if there is no pick-up in consumer spending.
The current unemployment rate is not far off the FAS predictions as the latest live register figures show the rate of unemployment is already at 12.7pc, up from 12.5pc in December.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said the jobless rate of 12.7pc will be the best figure we will see this year, when even troubled Iceland has kept unemployment at 7pc.
FAS adopted a cautious approach in its report and was not prepared to say if the worst was over, although it estimated that job losses would be less frequent, with a big reduction in the rate of unemployment early next year.
It said there had been signs in recent months that the upward trend in unemployment was stabilising.
"However, it is too early to say whether the apparent stabilisation will persist," it said.
The agency added that the anticipated recovery in the economy would be export-led and would not have a great impact on job creation.
"On balance, we are forecasting annual average employment to fall by 4.5pc, from 1.93 million in 2009 to 1.84 million this year, and by a more modest 0.6pc in 2011 to 1.83 million," it said. "We expect the unemployment rate to rise further this year, peaking at about 13pc in the second half of the year.
"For 2011, we are forecasting a gradual reduction in the unemployment rate through the year, with the annual average falling to 12.6pc."