Unemployment fell to 12.5 per cent last month, the lowest level since June 2009. It was as high as 14.1 per cent in November 2012. We're getting really close to the European average of 12.1 per cent of joblessness. That'll end their feeling of moral superiority. While new jobs are being created all over the shop, the real reason this rate is coming down is that all the young, talented and good-looking people are heading for the exits. Less jobless people but increasingly ugly people remaining in nite clubs.
The monthly CSO services index, which measures activity in the sectors like hotels, motor bike repairs, transport, admin and other services took a dive, dropping 1.4 per cent in October. For the year as a whole, levels are down 1.2 per cent. This shows some weakening of demand with the professional, technical and scientific sector tumbling 14.3 per cent this year. Ouch. Other services areas including transport, retail and accommodation and food are also down in the year.
CALLS TO ST VINCENT DE PAUL
Charity St Vincent de Paul says that it has responded to a record 200,000 calls from families and individuals struggling to make ends meet because of the downturn. This compares with just 46,000 calls when its helpline was launched in 2006. The numbers indicate a further widening in the gulf between the few "haves" and the increasing number of "have nots". While parts of the economy are motoring ahead, it is painfully clear that a lot of people are being left behind in this two-speed recovery.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT LAWYERS
As rogue solicitor Thomas Byrne, aka "Sebastian Hobart", starts his stretch of bird, it has emerged that the number of investigations into lawyers by the Law Society has dropped 13 per cent. Financial pressure often leads to naughty carry on, so the fall in the number of complaints investigated from 2,746 to 2,116 could be seen as a positive.
The latest Investec Purchasing Managers index shows that confidence among purchasing managers – the people who sign the cheques to buy machines or big stuff – has risen to its highest level since October 2006. That was before the crash! Optimism regarding the 12-month outlook rose to 75.1 from a score of 74 last month. That's a poke in the eye for the doom mongers.