Varadkar welcomes latest fall in unemployment

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Social Protection Minister, Leo Varadkar has welcomed the latest fall in unemployment which has dropped to 6.4% for March 2017, a reduction of almost two full percentage points in the last 12 months.

The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed was 141,400 in March 2017, down by 3,300 in the last month and a drop of 39,800 when compared from March 2016.

“These are further encouraging figures and show that the recovery continues and people are returning to employment. It’s particularly encouraging that we are already closing in on our 2020 target of 6% unemployment. However, we need to continue our strong focus on long-term unemployment which is why my Department will publish a new Strategy for Jobless Households later this year,” Minister Varadkar said.

Other measures currently underway include:
• more intensive one-to-one engagements with jobseekers;
• making work pay through sustainable wage increases, effective tax reductions and new social insurance measures like paternity benefit;
• supporting more people to enter self-employment and set up their own business or practice;
• using initiatives like JobsWeek to match jobseekers with employers;
• promoting financial supports like JobsPlus and the Wage Subsidy Scheme;
• and developing initiatives across the whole of Government in education, training, housing and childcare.