Number signing on dole drops for 25th month in row
THE number of jobless people signing on for benefits has continued to drop, showing signs of a steadily improving labour market.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday show that 3,400 people came off the Live Register in July, a 0.1pc decrease on the month before.
While this is a minor drop on the previous month, it is the 25th consecutive monthly fall, bringing the seasonally adjusted total number of citizens signing on to 382,800.
Of the 3,400 claimants that signed off in July, just over 20pc were women. The growth in the construction sector allowing more men to take up jobs.
The unadjusted figures show that there are 404,515 people signing on, 37,461 less than the same period last year.
The number of people on the Live Register has dropped by 8.5pc in the past year, bringing the standardised unemployment rate to 11.5pc. The number of long-term claimants on the Live Register also dropped over the past 12 months by 4.5pc.
This figure represents an 8pc decrease of long-term male claimants, while women in the same category grew by 3.2pc.
Part-time and casual staff make up 18.7pc of the total number of people signing on, while 53.4pc of all the people on the Live Register are short-term claimants.
However, almost half (46.6pc) of claimants are now signing on for one year or more.
The number of claimants under the age of 25 decreased for the third year in a row, and just 15.3pc are under the age of 25, a 1.1pc drop on last month.
The majority of those signing on came from the construction industry, just under one-fifth from the craft sector, and 15.9pc last held a job as plant and machine operatives.
More than eight out of 10 of those on the Live Register are cited as being Irish nationals.
Despite the falling numbers of unemployed, Mark Fielding, chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise (ISME) group, criticised the Government's efforts to increase employment figures.
Mr Fielding is now calling on the new Cabinet to "match rhetoric with action".
"The latest Central Bank forecast for 2014, unemployment is predicting a modest decline in the Live Register to 11.4pc this year," he said. "This will mean that growth for 2014 – the Governments well-publicised 'year for jobs' – will have been slower than 2013."
He said that the "slow growth was unsurprising given the lack of Government intervention".
ISME is calling on the Government to address the lack of bank credit for small and medium enterprises, as well asking them to "hold fast" on wage demands from the public sector.