Number of long-term unemployed doubles
The number of people languishing in long-term unemployment has doubled over the last year, it emerged today.
Official figures revealed the rate of those out of work for more than a year soared to 6.5pc by autumn.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said there were 299,000 people unemployed in the third quarter of 2010, a jump of 19,200 over the year.
But while the rate of job losses eased, a staggering 140,400 people had not worked for at least 12 months.
Sinn Fein accused the Government of ruining the State and failing its people.
Arthur Morgan, enterprise spokesman, said: "It is time this Government woke up. The lesson is simple: Banks bailouts don't create jobs, investment will.
"Budget 2011 was a wasted opportunity."
Figures showed the number of people in long-term unemployment accounted for 47pc of all those out of work after they rose by 69,000.
While the full-time jobs dropped by 73,500, some 2,600 people secured part-time posts.
The country's unemployment rate of 13.5pc was four percentage points higher than the EU-27 average of 9.5pc, the CSO added.
Elsewhere, the latest Quarterly National Household Survey revealed that the self-employed fell by 7.3pc to 304,500, while the numbers working in the public sector fell by 10,000, just 2.4pc down.
The most recent live register showed that 425,002 claimed benefits last month, including part-time and seasonal workers. Emigration was roundly blamed for the third monthly fall in numbers signing on the dole.
Isme, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said the Government had made little or no effort to address the unemployment crisis.
Chief executive Mark Fielding said: "It is incredible that the Government introduced austerity measures to get the economy back on track, but did little to address our unemployment problem, crucial to future growth.
"The disastrous trend in the long-term unemployed rate, which has more than doubled from 3.2pc in the third quarter of 2009 to the current 6.5pc aptly confirms the fact that this Government doesn't have, and never had, an employment strategy.
"If they think that the 'trivial and meaningless' activation schemes announced in the Budget will solve the crisis, they are sadly mistaken."