Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said the latest CSO live register figures indicate that unemployment is falling across Ireland, in all counties, and not just in the main urban areas. Indeed the largest falls in the year to date are in counties on the border, the midlands and south east.
“The regional breakdown for the latest live register shows a clear reduction in the live register in all counties of at least 10%. While the economic recovery and job creation initially took hold in the cities, people are now coming off the live register in significant numbers in regional and rural areas as well,” Minister Varadkar said.
Today’s figures show that the Live Register for February 2017 is 275,093, representing a drop of 44,356 on February 2016. Compared with February 2015, this is a drop of over 79,000.
“The data for individual counties shows that jobs are being offered – and taken – in many more parts of Ireland. But it also indicates that people are getting job ready and acquiring the skills needed to find work. The live register is still falling more quickly in some parts of Ireland than others. Many areas are still blighted by the economic crash, and the Government must remain focused on job creation. Ireland still faces significant risks such as Brexit and the rise of anti-globalisation politics around the world. But the overall trend is very positive in both urban and rural areas, which is very encouraging.”
The number of long-term unemployed is also continuing to fall. At the end of February, 117,048 people on the Live Register had been unemployed for 12 months or more. That is over 40% fewer than what it had been at the peak of the recession in August 2012 when it stood at over 201,500. Compared with February 2015, it represents a drop of 162,700.
The Minister confirmed earlier this week that he is considering setting more ambitious unemployment targets after another set of figures from the CSO showed a significant fall in unemployment in the last 12 months. Unemployment now stands at 6.6%, down from 8.4% in February 2016.
|Monthly and annual comparisons—Live Register figures|
Map shows change per county (%) from February 2011 – 2017
|County||Feb-11||Feb-16||Feb-17||% Change 2011 to 2017||% Change 2016 to 2017|