ACCORDING to the latest CSO figures, just shy of 300 people stopped signing on at the dole office in Newmarket in the last year.
In November 2012, there were 1,701 people who were listed on the live register, however, fast forward one year, and it now stands at 1,424, which is a drop of 16.28%, or just shy of 300 people.
The picture in nearby Mallow is similar, there are now 288 less people signing on in the last year.
In November 2013, there were 2,438 listed as being on the live register, and in November 2013, that figure dipped to 2,666, which is 8.55% less.
Figures produced by the CSO showed that 37,603 people in Cork were on the live register in November. This compares to 41,268 for November 2012, a reduction of 3,655.
Other regions which showed a dip included Macroom, which in November 2012 had 1,555 signing on; this figure has decreased to 1,440 – a decrease of almost 125 people signing on.
Equally in Fermoy, in November last year, there were 2,540 people on the live register, and this was chopped down to 2,336 just one year later.
Cllr Gerard Murphy (FG), who is based in Newmarket, said he has been speaking to the business community in Duhallow and there is a "general feeling," that there is a "slight pick up" in the marketplace.
"Confidence is returning and that can only be viewed as a good thing. However, western Duhallow has always been plagued by emigration and I don't think that will change any time soon," he said.
"Over Christmas there is also an incentive to take on extra people, particularly so in the retail sector. That can lead to a more permanent position," he said.
Cllr Murphy said that BCD engineering in Charleville has also been hiring people in the last number of weeks.
"The national public sector embargo is obviously still a problem, but hopefully, now, the country is reaching stability. There are a lot of people, in particular in Cork County Council who have retired and are not being replaced," he said.
Cllr Murphy was also of the view that the Department of Social Welfare needs to do more to facilitate people who do find part time work.
"The person may only have part time work for a short period of time, but if they leave the system then it is made very difficult for them to get back into the system. I think the Department of Social Welfare needs to do more to facilitate people," he said.