Live Register falls to new 11-year low as employment grows

Latest monthly figures show number of claimants fell 3,500 to 196,500 in February

The number of long-term unemployed on the Live Register at the end of February was 77,413, which equated to an annual decrease of 20%. Photograph: Getty Images

The number of long-term unemployed on the Live Register at the end of February was 77,413, which equated to an annual decrease of 20%. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The number of benefit claimants on the Live Register is now at an 11-year low, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

A monthly drop of 3,500 or 1.8 per cent was recorded in February, which brought the seasonally adjusted total to 196,500.

This was the lowest number recorded in the seasonally adjusted series since February 2008. In unadjusted terms it represented an annual decrease of 38,410 or 16 per cent .

While the register is not a measure of unemployment as people with part-time work can be entitled to benefits, it reflects conditions in the labour market in general and has fallen in tandem with the State’s official unemployment measure, which was put at 5.6 per cent in February.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis the latest Live Register shows a monthly decrease of 2,300 men and 1,400 women in February.

The number of long-term unemployed on the register at the end of February was 77,413, which equated to an annual decrease of 20 per cent.

The rapid fall in long-term joblessness has been one of the surprising features of the current economic recovery. Following the economic crash of the late 1980s, long-term unemployment in the Republic remained elevated for over a decade.

The latest figures show there were 41,264 casual and part-time workers on the register, down 21 per cent on an annual basis. The percentage of under-25s on the register now stands at 10.6 per cent.

A breakdown of the figures shows craft workers remains the largest occupational group on the register, accounting for 17 per cent, despite the fact that the number in the group fell over the year by 8,165 to 33,560 and had the largest annual decrease of any sector of 19.6 per cent.