Unemployment figures soar
Published 02/06/2010 | 11:47
The number of people signing on for unemployment benefits soared by more than 5,200 last month, official figures revealed today.
After dole queues stabilised for several months since the start of the year, the amount of people on the Live Register worsened with the total topping 437,922 in May.
The Central Statistics Office said the unemployment rate was 13.7pc.
Labour enterprise spokesman Willie Penrose said the Government had failed abysmally in getting to grips with the jobs crisis.
"This Government has run out of ideas and has run out of steam," he said.
"While they are perfectly happy to pump billion after billion into zombie banks, they are doing virtually nothing to invest in job creation.
"And it should be borne in mind that today's figures don't even take into account the recently announced major job losses in companies like Pfizer and Covidien."
Sinn Fein marked the monthly unemployment figures by delivering 10,000 postcards from out-of-work people around the country to Taoiseach Brian Cowen's office
The party's enterprise spokesman Arthur Morgan said: "The Government take no issue with dropping €2bn of taxpayers' money into Anglo Irish Bank at the drop of a hat, but for them creating jobs and stimulating the economy is akin to drawing blood from a stone.
"The Government cannot continue to be reliant on emigration visas, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to offset the pressures of unemployment that are gripping this country.
"They need to make plans, they need to consult with parties like mine who have put together comprehensive job creation strategies, and they need to do this now."
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) warned that a generation could be lost to emigration and called for the immediate implementation of the employers' PRSI exemption scheme.
Chief executive Mark Fielding said: "We are in the throes of the worst economic crisis in living memory and it is critical that we stem the number of job losses.
"Unfortunately, the Government is ignoring this fact and is contributing to an already dreadful situation by refusing to implement coherent policies to address the issue."