Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Unemployment rate falls for second month in a row

Published 03/11/2010 | 13:41

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The number of people on the dole has fallen for the second month in a row with unemployment now at 13.6pc, it was revealed today.

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According to official figures, it is the first month-on-month drop in the jobless rate since the downturn took a severe hold in 2007.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said: "There is evidence that the labour market is stabilising."

The Central Statistics Office said headline figures showed a total of 429,553 people signing on in October, down 12,864, with the seasonally adjusted figure of 443,000, down 6,600 last month.

Dublin saw the biggest fall in people signing on, down 4.7pc, while craft workers made up a quarter of those on the Live Register.

There were almost twice as many men as women on the dole while 82,922 of the total were under 25.

Batt O'Keeffe, enterprise minister, said figures recorded by his department showed a sharp decline in redundancies last month - 3,910, down 40pc on the same month last year.

The minister, who is on a trade mission to the Middle East, added: "These trends, allied with our strong export performance, healthy foreign direct investment pipeline and declining unemployment figures, are very encouraging signs of economic recovery."

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny called for three steps to invigorate the jobs market, including reducing the level of PRSI contributions for employers to encourage bosses to take on staff.

He also said Aer Lingus and Ryanair should be challenged to boost passenger figures in return for the scrapping of the 10 euro travel tax, claiming it would have a knock-on effect in creating jobs.

"As we are speaking here, there are able-bodied men and women who are totally frustrated, sitting at home trying desperately to get jobs anywhere, because they want to contribute and they want to do something," he told the Dail.

Willie Penrose, Labour's enterprise spokesman, said emigration was a major factor in the falling unemployment figures.

"The decline in live register figures announced today is certainly to be welcomed, but the underlying pattern remains unchanged, and virtually all of the decline recorded today can be attributed to factors such as emigration, the likes of which we have not seen since the 1980s," Mr Penrose said.

Arthur Morgan, Sinn Fein enterprise spokesman, backed Labour's assessment.

"Emigration is a scourge on this State and it is a mask which the Government's failed labour market policies are hiding behind," Mr Morgan said.

"We will be left with an economic wasteland next month unless the Government stimulates the economy, creates jobs and retains our young people."

Richard Bruton, Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman, said the figures were mainly falling because high-skilled employees were leaving the country.

Mr Bruton claimed the vast majority of the drop was down to under-25s coming off the register.

"This group represents the lost generation which is being forced to leave Ireland and look for work overseas," Mr Bruton said.

"There is similar evidence of the impact of emigration if you look at individual occupations. The biggest reduction is among high-skilled professionals, which includes some of the most mobile people.

"In other words, the highly skilled people that are able to leave are abandoning the country in droves."

Richard Bruton, Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman, said the figures were mainly falling because high-skilled employees were leaving the country.

Mr Bruton claimed the vast majority of the drop was down to under-25s coming off the register.

"This group represents the lost generation which is being forced to leave Ireland and look for work overseas," Mr Bruton said.

"There is similar evidence of the impact of emigration if you look at individual occupations. The biggest reduction is among high-skilled professionals, which includes some of the most mobile people.

"In other words, the highly skilled people that are able to leave are abandoning the country in droves."

Press Association

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