Unemployment down as 38,000 fewer sign on dole
Unemployment is continuing to fall, with the numbers signing on down by 3,500 last month.
There are now 358,630 people on the Live Register, which is almost 38,000 fewer than a year ago. The unemployment rate is now 11pc - which is down from 12.4pc a year ago and a crisis high of 15pc in 2011, the new Central Statistics Office figures show.
But far more men than women have come off the Live Register in the last year, with 29,000 fewer men now on it, compared with 8,900 women.
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) said that while the number of people who have been unemployed for over a year has fallen to 169,420 - which is its lowest level in three years - they now represent 48pc of those on the Live Register compared with 39pc then.
"Clearly, a lot more needs to be done to support people who are long-term unemployed to find paid employment," said John Stewart of the INOU.
Another 75,588 people are also taking part in back to work schemes and internships, and these are not included in the Live Register figures - although they receive welfare payments.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the CSO figures showed that 143,000, or 36pc, of people who were on the Live Register a year ago have left it to take up jobs, showing job creation policies were working.
He admitted many people were still not feeling the effects of an economic recovery but the country was moving in the right direction.
"The unemployment rate is continuing to fall, more unemployed people are moving into jobs, and the numbers of long-term unemployed people are continuing to fall," he said.
"We have a long way to go, and many people are still not feeling the effects, with unemployment at 11pc. However, today's figures confirm once again that we are on the right track.
"People can have confidence that, if we continue to implement our plan, their sacrifices will not be wasted and sustainable, long-term jobs will continue to grow in this country."