Belfast Telegraph

Rising numbers signing on the dole

The number of people signing on for dole payments continued to rise slightly last month to almost 14%.

Official figures showed a total of 466,923 people seeking benefits, an increase of about 30,000 in the last year.

The Live Register report showed that the South East and the Midlands had the biggest increases in the number of people signing on last month.

Tradesmen and women made up a quarter of those on the dole - about 116,000 - while last month the professional sector suffered the largest increase with a 1.2% rise.

In August there were 388,066 Irish nationals on the Register and 78,857 non-Irish nationals, while over the last year the number of non-Irish has fallen by 827.

Willie Penrose, Labour's enterprise spokesman, said 313,000 people have started to sign on since the Fianna Fail/Green coalition took power in 2007.

He said this has added 6.25 billion euro to the social welfare bill.

"The combined cost of the bank rescue and the huge numbers out of work is strangling the Exchequer and delaying our prospects of economic recovery," he said.

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