Jobless rate dips to 10-year low of 5.3 % in October

But youth unemployment remains high at 12%

Unemployment continued to fall in October.  Photograph: Frank Miller

Unemployment continued to fall in October. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Unemployment dipped in October, falling to a 10-year low of 5.3 per cent as 126,400 were officially registered as out of work.

That compares with 5.4 per cent last in September and 6.6 per cent in October 2017.

The seasonally adjusted figures showed a rate of 5.5 per cent for October, versus 5.7 per cent in September and 6.9 per cent a year earlier.

But the fall in the unemployment rate may slow as more people come back to the labour force. The participation rate is still below the pre-recession peak of 66.7 per cent, at 62.3 per cent in the second quarter.

Youth unemployment still remained high, with the seasonally adjusted rate at 12 per cent in October. That was down from 12.9 per cent in September, but analysts said more needed to be done to reduce the figure further.

“Although the rate has dropped from 16.5 per cent in October 2016, it is still a lot higher than desirable,” said Alan McQuaid, Merrion Capital. “Significant progress has been made on this front in recent years, but a lot more needs to be done. In our view, Government initiatives in terms of training and education need to focus on this age group in particular.”