Live Register falls by 2,500 in June

Standardised unemployment rate at 13.6 per cent, new data shows

The unemployment rate fell marginally in June, new data showed. Photograph: Frank Miller /The Irish Times

The unemployment rate fell marginally in June, new data showed. Photograph: Frank Miller /The Irish Times

Wed, Jul 3, 2013, 12:41

CIARA O’BRIEN

The Live Register fell in June, decreasing by 2,500 and bringing the standardised unemployment rate to 13.6 per cent.

The number of people signing on, which includes casual and part-time workers as well as those who are unemployed, fell to 422,900 for the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest decrease since March. The unadjusted figures record a total of 435,357 people signing on. That was a 3.7 per cent decline compared to the same month in 2012.

The standarised unemployment rate is now at its lowest since April 2010, analysts noted. A year ago, the figure was nudging 15 per cent.

According to the central Statistics Office, the number of men signing on fell by 2,800 during June, with an additional 300 women joining the register. Overall, the number of men signing on now stands at 270,937, a 5.5 per cent decline over the year, with women making up 164,420, a decline of 0.5 per cent.

Long terms claimants - those signing on for more than a year - declined last month, with the number falling by 0.9 per cent to 197,508. However, the proportion increased to 45.4 per cent, continuing the trend seen in recent months.

“Long-term unemployment remains a significant challenge for the economy and suggests high structural unemployment may become an issue in Ireland even if overall unemployment continues to reduce,” Glas Securities said in a note.

The majority of claimants are short tem, making up 54.6 per cent of the register. Some 20.3 per cent, or 88,322, were casual or part-time workers.

Although the number of people under the age of 25 signing on to the register continued to show a significant decline, falling by 9.8 per cent year on year in the latest figures, there may be other factors affecting this age group.

“While job opportunities may be more likely to go to younger age groups at present (employment growth is currently only in part-time positions), it is likely that emigration is reducing the numbers of under-25s on the Live Register and the overall unemployment rate,” Glas Securities said.

Merrion Economics’ Alan McQuaid said young people staying longer in education could also have contributed to the drop.

Acting director of the Small Firms Association Avine McNally said the indications of stabilisation of employment was welcome, the figures were still “unacceptably high”.

“To allow small firms create jobs it is essential that Government take firm action to address cost competitiveness, access to finance and late payments. By taking this action Government will be contributing directly to the viability of small businesses and job creation.”