Number on dole falls slightly
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office today show the number of people on the dole fell slightly last month.
Official figures showed 436,956 people signing on for benefits in February, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 13.5pc.
There has been a 50pc increase in the levels of long-term unemployment - 56,080 more in the last year, according to Live Register figures.
Willie Penrose, Labour's enterprise spokesman, called for job creation to be a central plank of a new government as his senior colleagues negotiate on a potential new coalition.
"There are, for the 21st successive month, in excess of 400,000 claiming jobseekers benefit or allowance," Mr Penrose said.
"There is still a huge challenge facing the country, and the incoming government, to undo the huge economic damage done by Fianna Fail.
"More than ever we need a new government that will put the country back on its feet and give job creation the priority it deserves."