Tuesday 20 February 2018

Jobless rate still among the highest in Europe

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Ireland's unemployment rate remains among the highest in the EU after it did not change last month.

Figures revealed yesterday showed there was no change in the portion of the workforce with no job.

The standardised unemployment rate stayed at 14.3pc, the same as it was in March, with the latest seasonally-adjusted rate at 14.6pc.

Another 100 people joined the dole queues, bringing the number of people on the Live Register to 436,000.

And other figures released by the EU's statistics office Eurostat yesterday show our unemployment rate ranks among the top five in the 27 member states.

The Irish seasonally-adjusted rate of 14.5pc in March was well above the 10.2pc average across the EU.

Grown

The four countries with higher rates were Latvia, at 14.6pc, Portugal at 15.3pc, Greece at 21.7pc and Spain, where the rate of joblessness is highest in the EU, at 24.1pc.

Austria had the lowest employment rate, at just four percent, while the rate of joblessness was in the region of five percent in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.

Our nearest neighbour, the UK, had a rate of 8.2pc.

Unemployment has grown across the EU since last year, rising in 19 countries and falling in eight.

The unemployment rate stood at 9.4pc across the EU in March last year, but had risen to 10.2pc by March of this year.

The biggest falls in unemployment were in Lithuania, where it plunged from 17.5pc to 14.3pc, and in Latvia and Estonia.

The greatest increase was in Greece, where the rate soared from 14.7pc to 21.7pc between January last year and the same month this year.

Meanwhile, the Central Statistics Office said the "trend in the overall Live Register continues to be one of movement within a small range".

It said the number of men signing on rose by 400 last month, while the number of women dropped by the same number.

The number of long-term unemployed has risen by 8.6pc since last year to 184,053.

However, the percentage of under-25s on the dole has dropped. It now stands at 16.5pc, down from 18pc at the same time last year.

The data also showed there are 81,440 people availing of training and back-to-work programmes designed to get the long-term unemployed off the dole. This compares with just over 71,000 at the same time last year.

Irish Independent

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