Men hit worst as unemployment soars
Twice as many men as women are out of work, with employment dropping by 80,000 over the last year, it was revealed today.
Official figures showed that 1.85 million people remained in the workforce in the first quarter of this year, but unemployment soared to 293,600.
The Quarterly National Household Survey showed the fall in the employment rate has slowed, with a 4.1pc annual decrease in numbers working in April compared with a 8.2pc drop up to April 2009.
But the long-term unemployment rate doubled to 5.9pc.
Most recent Live Register figures showed 466,923 people, including part-time workers, signed on for benefits in August.
Elsewhere, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that, in April, the country had the highest level of net outward migration since 1989.
The CSO's population and migration estimates for April showed that, in the previous 12 months, migration remained broadly constant at 65,300 but the number of immigrants coming into Ireland fell sharply, from 57,300 to 30,800.
The CSO warned that employment fell on an annual basis in 10 of the 14 economic sectors.
The largest decline in employment was again recorded in the construction sector, where the numbers fell by 30,100 (down 19.4pc) over the year. Employment in the sector has now dropped by almost 54pc since its peak in the second quarter of 2007.
The next largest annual decreases in employment were recorded in industry and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors where the numbers employed fell by 18,200 (down 7pc) and 12,300 (down 12.7pc).
But the gloomy figures were offset slightly with the announcement of 570 new jobs in the capital.
Some 450 construction posts are to be created in the €486m development project on the Grangegorman site in Dublin's north inner city.
Wellmed Ireland also created 120 jobs after securing a contract with US form Conrex Pharmaceuticals to market and distribute its skincare product range in Ireland.
Statistics showed Ireland's unemployment rate was 13.6pc in April, a level last recorded in the mid-1990s and higher than the European average.
There were 200,100 men and 93,600 women out of work in the second quarter of 2010 - with the male unemployment rate at 16.7pc and the female unemployment rate at 9.8pc.
It was highest among young people aged from 15 to 19, with 40.6pc out of work, and more than a quarter of those aged between 20 and 24 were unemployed.
Elsewhere, figures showed total long-term unemployment increased to 127,000 - a rate of 5.9pc compared with 2.6pc in the second quarter last year and 1.5pc in 2008.
The CSO added: "As of Q2 2010, long-term unemployment accounted for 43.3pc of total unemployment compared with 21.7pc a year earlier.
"Long-term unemployment constitutes a larger proportion of total unemployment among males than females, 48.3pc compared with 32.5pc."
Elsewhere, it revealed there were 2.15 million people in the labour force, down 50,000 in the year because of changes in the number of people of working age and migration.
The estimated number of non-Irish nationals in the labour force also dropped to 276,500, a decrease of 48,900.