Wednesday 24 January 2018

Biggest jobless fall in two years

Unemployment has seen its biggest fall for two years, official figures revealed today.

The total number signing on for benefits came down by 24,506 in September with the unemployment rate down to 13.7pc.

But the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said adjusted figures - which strip out seasonal changes such as the return of students to college - showed the number of people on the dole fell by just 5,400.

Labour enterprise spokesman Willie Penrose insisted the underlying jobs crisis remained despite the slight improvement.

"This Government is not capable of dealing with the unemployment crisis or leading the country back to economic recovery," he said.

"The sooner it recognises this and allows the people to elect a new government with a fresh mandate, the better for all our people."

A breakdown of the Live Register report showed all parts of the country saw a fall in the numbers on the dole with the West enjoying the biggest improvement.

It also showed tradesmen and plant operators and machinists were worst hit by the downturn, making up 26pc and 16pc respectively of the total.

The best improvements were in the professional, clerical and secretarial sectors, the CSO said.

Labour warned, however, that other figures have shown about 5,000 people are leaving the country every month, making a massive impact on the Live Register.

Press Association

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