Live Register falls to nine-year low as labour market improves

CSO numbers suggest number of claimants is at lowest level since October 2008

Number of males signing on fell by 1,500 in May while females decreased by 700. Photograph: Steve Morgan/PA

Number of males signing on fell by 1,500 in May while females decreased by 700. Photograph: Steve Morgan/PA

 

The number of people signing on the Live Register has fallen again, with an additional 2,200 coming off the register in May.

As a result, the total number of claimants fell to an unadjusted total to 262,702, which corresponds to an annual decrease of 44,120 or 14.4 per cent.

The number of people on the Live Register is now at its lowest number since October 2008, the Central Statistics Office said.

The Live Register is not a measure of unemployment, as people with part-time work can be entitled to benefits.

The CSO’s monthly unemployment statistics put the State’s headline rate at 6.4 per cent in May.

The Live Register numbers show the number of males signing on fell by 1,500 (1 per cent) in May while females decreased by 700 (0.6 per cent).

“Today’s CSO figures for the month of May show that large numbers of people are leaving the Live Register, with a 14 per cent reduction in the Live Register in 12 months, a fall of 44,120 people,” Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said.

“This fall in the Live Register is reflected in the number of people finding jobs in our growing economy,” he said, noting that the CSO’s recent quarterly national household survey showed that full-time employment rose 84,200 in the 12 months to March.

“My department’s own figures show that in April, 12,300 spells on the Live Register ended with a person finding a job,” Mr Varadkar said.

“I want to commend the thousands of personal stories that resulted in these people entering or returning to the workforce. Each case is obviously unique, but there are many common themes,” he said.

“ They include older employees who have learned a new skill, people who set up their own business, with or without State support, and lone parents who have overcome numerous difficulties,” he added.