Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Little change in jobless total

There were about 500 fewer people signing on the dole in August, figures show

The total number of people signing on the dole showed little change this month, with about 500 fewer on the register.

Official figures recorded 469,713 jobseekers on benefits in August, taking the unemployment rate to 14.4%.

And the Central Statistics Office warned that the number of people claiming benefits long-term continues to increase, with 40.8% of all those on the Live Register now signing on for one year or more. The total number on benefits increased by 2,790 over the last year.

Richard Bruton, Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, urged patience amid pressure for Government policies to reverse the jobs crisis.

"It has taken years of bad policies to get us into this crisis, and it will take some time for good policies to have their effect," the minister said.

"Today's figures underline the need for radical reform in our economy, and I am determined to keep implementing my plan to make the necessary changes to help create the jobs we so badly need."

Mark Fielding, chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, claimed the Government's Jobs Initiative, which targeted the tourism sector, is not working.

"With the best will in the world, educational and training programmes, internship schemes and other such initiatives have a very limited capacity to get people back into the workforce," he said.

The Live Register report showed 88,770 under-25s signing on in August. Youth Work Ireland warned that training and education commitments are not sufficient to address the huge numbers of young people looking for work.

Spokesman Michael McLoughlin said: "If young people drift into long-term unemployment in substantial numbers, it may be hard to rescue that situation when any recovery occurs."

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