Live Register remains steady at 14.3%
The number of people signing on the Live Register increased marginally for the second straight month in May but the standardised unemployment rate held steady at 14.3 per cent.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 436,700 people were claiming jobseekers’ benefits and allowances in May, some 7,700 fewer than in the same month last year.
The number of people signing on increased by 200 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. This followed a similar rise in April.
Small business group Isme described the figures as disappointing and called on the Government to “roll up their sleeves” on the jobs front now that the fiscal treaty campaign is coming to an end.
Commenting on the figures, Glas Securities said the standardised unemployment rate had remained “relatively stable” over the last 18 months and had only varied between 14.1 per cent and 14.6 per cent in that past 18 months.
It noted that Government forecasts for an unemployment rate of 14.1 per cent, when framing the 2012 budget, had been increased by the Department of Finance recently to 14.3 per cent in its April stability programme update.
Davy said the unemployment rate appeared to have stabilised in the first quarter, but warned the index would likely be revised based on the Quarterly National Household Survey. "So we cannot infer too much from the live register data until we get the official Q1 employment numbers," Davy's David McNamara said.
The number of long-term claimants – those in receipt of benefits for more than one year – increased by 7 per cent to 188,729 in the year to May. The number of women in the long-term category increased by 13.7 per cent (6,459) in that period, and the number of men rose by 4.6 per cent (5,936).
The data suggest that young people are continuing to emigrate or return to education, with the number of people aged under 25 claiming benefits falling by 10.3 per cent in the year to May. The percentage of those aged under 25 signing on the Live Register stood at 16.8 per cent at the end of May, down from 18.4 per cent a year earlier and 19.6 per cent in May 2010.
The number of casual and part-time workers claiming benefits has risen by 3.7 per cent (3,131) since May of last year to 88,064, with the increase largely accounted for by male workers (5.7 per cent).
Foreign nationals accounted for 17.7 per cent (76,783) of the number on the Live Register, a small increase from the figure recorded one year earlier (17.5 per cent).