Number of women joining dole queues double that of men
MORE than twice as many women as men signed on for the first time last month.
New figures show the rate of unemployment rose again in June -- the third month in a row it has increased.
The figures, released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), reveal unemployment was 14.9pc in June -- up from 14.7pc the previous month.
It means unemployment is now significantly higher than the peak of 14.6pc last autumn and at its highest since 1994.
The CSO said an extra 2,700 people joined the dole queues in June, compared to May.
Women were hardest hit, with an extra 1,900 signing on last month -- more than double the 800 men who applied for the social welfare supports.
Economists at Davy Stockbrokers said the summer months always bring a sharp spike in the unadjusted Live Register numbers as professionals such as temporary teachers are laid off, which could account for the higher number of women signing on last month.
The overall number of people now on the Live Register stands at almost 452,000.
The Small Firms Association (SFA) said the figures were "disappointing, but not surprising".
"While we have seen some job announcements in recent weeks, the Live Register figures clearly show action to date is not enough to stem the tide," said SFA spokeswoman Avine McNally.
"These figures show that our labour market is fragile, and the overall figures highlight the huge challenges that are being faced to get people back to work."
Meanwhile, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises (ISME) association, called on the Government to stop the "internal bickering and kite flying".
"Unless significant changes are made to the welfare system, many of the long-term unemployed will simply remain on the dole," ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said.
"The Government's plan for jobs is a shambles as the conflicting camps within cabinet propose polar opposite strategies, increasing economic uncertainty, consumer confusion and fear of investment," Mr Fielding added.
The number of long term social welfare claimants (12 months or more) on the Live Register in June 2012 was 199,249 -- a jump of more than 12,600 in 12 months.