Number on unemployment benefit unchanged in May
THE NUMBER of people in receipt of unemployment benefits remained largely unchanged in May compared to a month earlier.
According to a different measure, also contained in yesterday’s Central Statistics Office release, the standardised unemployment rate held steady at 14.3 per cent of the workforce.
Both measures are adjusted by statisticians to strip out seasonal fluctuations.
Both measures also show a remarkable stability over two years, with almost no change to the numbers of benefit recipients or jobless over that time.
Figures show that on a seasonally adjusted basis, 436,700 people were claiming jobseekers’ benefits and allowances in May.
The number of people signing on increased by 200 in May compared to April on a seasonally adjusted basis. This followed a similar rise in April.
Although yesterday’s figures do not provide a headcount of the jobless, separate CSO figures put the number at about 300,000.
Small business group Isme described the figures as disappointing and called on the Government to “roll up their sleeves” on the jobs front.
Glas Securities said the standardised unemployment rate had remained “relatively stable” and had only varied between 14.1 per cent and 14.6 per cent over that past 18 months.
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, while the number of men rose by 4.6 per cent (5,936).
The figures suggest 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 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.
Foreign nationals accounted for 17.7 per cent (76,783) of the number on the Live Register, a small increase from the figure one year earlier (17.5 per cent).