Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Unemployment rate stays at 14.7%

While there was little movement in the number of people on the dole from July to August, there was a slight decrease from the same period last year

Ireland's unemployment rate remained unchanged last month, sticking at 14.7%, new figures have revealed.

While there was little movement in the number of people on the dole from July to August, there was a slight decrease from the same period last year - dropping by 2.9% to 456,256.

But despite the drop, the number of those in long-term unemployment was up.

Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that 201,513 people had been claiming benefits for more than a year.

The CSO figures marked an overall increase of 9.935 (5.2%) long-term claimants on the Live Register over the last 12 months.

The biggest jump among the long-term unemployed was seen in women, with a rise of 11.4%, while the number of male long-term claimants increased by 2.8% in the year to August 2012.

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) warned this would create a structural problem that would "blight generations to come".

Chief executive Mark Fielding said the Government's plans to get people back to work were falling short.

"While the Government is concerning itself with appeasing the public sector to keep them onside, the effort to tackle unemployment has run out of steam," said Mr Fielding.

"The insubstantial jobs initiative, introduced earlier this year, is now a distant memory and is not working."

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