Unemployment falls in March


The number of people signing on to the Live Register fell in March, and the standardised unemployment rate dipped slightly, new data from the Central Statistics Office showed today.

According to the seasonally adjusted figures, there were 8,300 fewer people signing on in March than a year earlier, or 1.9 per cent. On an unadjusted basis, the decline was 1.6 per cent over the year.

That brings the total number of people signing on to the Live Register to 434,800, a drop of 3,000 from February 2012.

The Live Register also includes those working part-time and causal employees.

The number of men signing on fell by 3.4 per cent over the year to 280,243, while an additional 2,843 women were added to the register, for a total of 153,811.

Glas Securities noted the the number of claimants aged under 25 was 10.3 per cent lower of the year, which it said could reflect increasing levels of emigration among younger people.

The standardised unemployment rate for March was 14.3 per cent, marginally lower than 14.4 per cent in February, and down from 14.6 per cent measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“At face value, today's figures indicate a significant improvement in labour market conditions through the first quarter,” Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille said.

“Monthly changes in social welfare claimants tend not to have a material impact on the unemployment rate. However, today's data indicate that there has been a material 11,600 fall in seasonally adjusted numbers on the Live Register since November.”