Unemployment rate remains at 14%

Number on Live Register fell by 100 in April bringing seasonally adjusted total to 426,900


The number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 100 in April, bringing the seasonally adjusted Live Register total to 426,900.

The standardised unemployment rate for the month remained at 14 per cent, unchanged from March.

The figures, published by the Central Statistics Office today, show the number of men signing on fell by 200 in the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the number of women receiving unemployment benefit remained the same.

Over the year, the number of male claimants decreased by 4.5 per cent or 12,391 to 265,017, while female claimants showed little change, decreasing by just 17 to 152,576.

Live register figures are not a clear indication of unemployment as part-time workers, who work up to three days a week, and casual and seasonal workers who are entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance, are also included in the figures.

Unemployment stood at 14.2 per cent or 294,600 in the fourth quarter of 2012 according to the Quarterly National Household Survey.

The number of long-term claimants on the Live Register last month was 186,063, an increase of 2,010 on April 2012. Approximately 44.6 per cent of claimants have been receiving benefits for more than 12 months.

Chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) Mark Fielding described the figures as “horrific”.

“With many small businesses on their last legs doing everything possible to stay in business, the reality is that job creation is secondary to job maintenance,” he said.

“The Government must increase its investment in job-rich infrastructure projects to kick-start economic revival, while addressing the uncertainty surrounding Croke Park 2 and the incessant cost-creep of state influenced charges.”

Regional secretary of the Unite trade union said the Government was continually failing to tackle the jobs crisis.

“There is only one way to put people back to work and that is for the Government to abandon its failed austerity policies and start investing in growth and jobs,” Mr Kelly said.

Economic projections published yesterday by the Department of Finance predicted that the unemployment rate will stand at 12.3 per cent in 2016.