Live Register rises by 2,900

 

The Live Register increased by 2,900 in June, pushing the standardised unemployment rate slightly higher for the month. 

Seasonally adjusted figures showed 446,800 people signed on during the month, a 0.7 per cent increase compared to May.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the standardised unemployment rate in June was 14.2 per cent, up from 14.1 per cent in May. 

Previous releases from the CSO estimated a figure of 14.8 per cent for May. However, the figures were revised following the publication of the Quarterly National Household Survey, which said unemployment was 14 per cent for the first quarter of the year. This brought the standardised unemployment rate to 14.1 per cent for the month.

Last year, the average unemployment was 13.6 per cent.

The unadjusted figures show a total of 457,948 people signed on the Live Register in June, an increase of 5,066 or 1.1 per cent over the year.

The number of long-term claimants - those on the register for a year or more - rose by 49,448 in the year to June, representing 40.8 per cent compared to 30 per cent a year earlier.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) called on the Government to implement a reskilling programme aimed at the long-term unemployed.

Ictu economic advisor Paul Sweeney said it was a very serious problem in the Irish jobs market and the wider economy, and required urgent attention.

“Long-term unemployment is corrosive of individual and community well-being," he said. "We need to target the problem with serious programmes of reskilling and retraining. We believe there is an unanswerable social and economic case to take money from the National Pension Reserve to specifically fund a reskilling programme for the long term unemployed.”

The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment, but also includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers entitled to Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance.

In June, the number of people on the register entitled to Jobseekers Benefit fell by 31,619 to 114,458. However, Jobseekers Allowance claimants rose by 31,153 or 11 per cent, to 313,694.

The ingoing problems in Ireland's labour market were highlighted on the same day that the Government unveiled a national internship scheme to give up to 5,000 unemployed people work experience.

Participants in "JobBridge" will receive an extra €50 a week to their social welfare entitlements when they join companies within the private, voluntary and community sectors.

IBEC chief economist Fergal O'Brien said the economy was losing jobs because consumers are too afraid to spend.

"The labour market remains very weak. Jobs are still being lost in the domestic economy even though many export firms are rehiring again," he said.

"Over 40 per cent of those on the Live Register have been looking for work for over a year and the problem of long-term unemployment is growing rapidly. Measures such as the National Internship Scheme, launched by Government today, are essential to get people connected to the workplace again."