Live Register hits 10-year low amid buoyant labour market

Latest monthly figures show number of claimants fell by 3,100 in November

Construction crane and steel girders

Construction crane and steel girders

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The number of benefit claimants on the Live Register has fallen to a 10-year low as conditions in the labour market continue to improve.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Live Register total recorded a monthly drop of 3,100 or 1.5 per cent last month, bringing the seasonally adjusted total to 207,200. This was the lowest number recorded in the series since May 2008. In unadjusted terms, it represents an annual decrease of 36,948 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 5.3 per cent in November.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis the latest Live Register shows a monthly decrease of 1,900 men and 1,200 women in November. The number of long-term unemployed on the register at the end of November was 80,557, which equated to an annual decrease of nearly 19 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 41,759 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 10.2 per cent, down from 10.7 per cent in November last year.

A breakdown of the figures shows craft workers remains the largest occupational group on the register, accounting for nearly 17 per cent, despite the fact that the number in the group fell over the year by 8,016 to 33,249 and recorded the largest annual decrease of any sector of nearly 20 per cent.

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