Live Register numbers fall again
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell again in January, according to the latest Live Register figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The seasonally adjusted register, which also includes casual and part-time workers, was 430,100 in January, down 900 on December’s total.
This gave rise to a standardised unemployment rate of 14.6 per cent, unchanged from the previous month.
The CSO’s quarterly household survey put the rate of unemployment at 14.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2012.
Today’s figures showed the number of people claiming benefits fell by 9,900 on an adjusted basis over the last 12 months.
At the end of January 273,627 men were signing on the register and 155,769 women.
A breakdown of the figures showed the number of male claimants decreased by 10,266 (3.6 per cent) in the past year while female claimants increased slightly by 73 to 155,769.
The number of people aged under 25 signing on has decreased by 6,981 (9.3 per cent) in 12 months.
Annual falls in those aged under 25 have now occurred in all months since July 2010, reflecting the impact of emigration.
Long-term claimants - those signing on for more than a year – stood at 189,857 in January, up 6,008 or 3.3 per cent on an annual basis.
Isme, the association which represents small and medium-sized businesses, said the figures confirmed the stagnation in the economy and the dire need for some plan to include a stimulus for the economy.
“Included in these figures are an increasing number of long-term unemployed, while the real plight of our country is masked by massive youth emigration,” it said.
Chief executive Mark Fielding said: “The association is disappointed but not surprised at the latest poor employment figures.”
“All the indications from member companies were that the first quarter of 2013 was going to remain bleak, with little or no job creation and the constant threat of some job losses and company closures,” he added.