Youth unemployment falls slightly
The number of people on the Live Register fell by 2,300 last month, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
A total of 437,300 people were signing on the register in July, the figures show.
In seasonally unadjusted terms, there were 460,323 people on the register, equivalent to a 2.1 per cent fall compared to the same month a year earlier.
The standardised unemployment rate was unchanged at 14.8 per cent.
"The trend in the overall Live Register continues to be one of movement within a small range," the CSO said.
The percentage of those under the age of 25 on the Live Register now stands at 17.5 per cent, down from 19 per cent a year earlier and from 20.3 per cent in July 2010.
The number of long-term claimants totalled 200,086 in July.
On an annual basis, the number of long-term claimants has risen by 10,024 or 5.3 per cent.
In the 12 months to the end of July 2012, the number of male long-term claimants increased by 4,160 or 3 per cent in the year, while the comparable increase for females was 5,864 or 11.1 per cent.
On an annual basis, the number of male claimants decreased by 9,980 or 3.4 per cent to 287,790 while the number of female claimants increased by 19 to 172,533.
This compares with a decrease of 2,690 or 0.9 per cent to 297,770 for males and an increase of 6,150 or 3.7 per cent to 172,514 for females in the year to July 2011.
There were 88,041 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in July, equivalent to 19.1 per cent of all of those on the register.
In the year to the end of last month, the number of casual and part-time workers increased by 2,176 or 2.5 per cent.
During the month of July, there were 1,600 women and 800 men who left the register.
Last month, there were 39,627 new registrants on the Live Register, consisting of 17,903 jobseekers benefit claimants, 19,452 jobseekers allowance claimants and 2,272 others.
Irish nationals accounted for 83 per cent of the total of people on the Live Register.
The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment as it includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers.
Unemployment is measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey, the latest of which shows that the number of persons out of work was 309,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Davy economist David McNamara said the outlook for employment growth in Ireland remains weak and that despite the marginal decline in numbers on the Live Register in July, unemployment will increase overall in 2012.
Small business group Isme said the latest figures show that the employment situation is worsening.
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) expressed concern over the rise in the number of long-term claimants on the Live Register.
“This is a deeply worrying figure. Unemployment impacts on people in many different ways, people who are long-term unemployed face particular challenges – if you’re long-term unemployed its infinitely more difficult to get back to work” said John Stewart, co-ordinator with the organisation.
"Ireland’s unemployment crisis demands levels of intervention on a much larger scale than have taken place to date, particularly to tackle long-term unemployment. Such interventions should be seen as an investment in Ireland’s social and economic future and not be seen as a cost," he added.
Isme chief executive Mark Fielding called on the Government to halt rumoured proposals to change sick pay and PRSI rules.
"We require clear and targeted pro-enterprise policies to address business concerns, including cost competitiveness, access to finance, social welfare anomalies and public sector costs. Then the labour intensive SME sector will have the confidence to start investing and creating employment as it did in the 90’s, after the last recession,” he said.