Saturday 21 October 2017

'Further fall in unemployment rate is proof recovery continues' - Varadkar

A total of 3,300 fewer people were unemployed in March compared to February on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Central Statistics Office figures (Stock picture)
A total of 3,300 fewer people were unemployed in March compared to February on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Central Statistics Office figures (Stock picture)

Anne-Marie Walsh

The number of people out of work has fallen again and now stands at under 6.5pc of the workforce.

A total of 141,400 people, or 6.4pc of the labour market, had no job last month compared with 144,700, or 6.6pc, the previous month.

This marks a drop of 39,800 in the number of people without jobs since the unemployment rate was at 8.3pc in March last year.

A total of 3,300 fewer people were unemployed in March compared to February on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Central Statistics Office figures.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the "encouraging" figures and said they showed "that the recovery continues".

"It's particularly encouraging that we are already closing in on our 2020 target of 6pc unemployment," he said.

However, he said the Government needed to continue its focus on long-term unemployment and said his department would publish a new strategy for jobless households later this year.

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor described the latest official statistics as "gratifying" news.

She said her department would continue to focus on creating the best possible environment to sustain and grow jobs so that these figures could drop further.

"Being able to earn a livelihood is all important, allowing people to take charge of their future, to make plans and to have hope and optimism," she said.

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association acknowledged the fall in unemployment but said that it was concerned at rising commercial rates, which it said were having an impact on employment growth.

It also noted that youth unemployment was still high, standing at 13.9pc.

Irish Independent

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