FIGURES PUBLISHED EARLIER today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that the number of people signing on to the Live Register fell by 3,700 in October.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are currently 409,900 on the Live Register.
This is the first month since May 2009 that the unadjusted Live Register total has been below 400,000.
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton welcomed the news but said that unemployment is still “unacceptably high”.
She told RTÉ’s News at One that unemployment is “not falling as quickly as we would like for the people affected and their families, but [employment] is growing, at last, in the right direction”.
The standardised unemployment rate in October 2013 was 13.2 per cent, down from 13.3 per cent in September 2013.
In a breakdown of the figures, that CSO states that on a seasonally adjusted basis the Live Register showed a monthly decrease of 2,900 males in October 2013, while females decreased by 700 over the same period.
The number of male claimants decreased by 21,792 to 246,753 over the year while female claimants decreased by 1,868 to 149,759.
Burton acknowledged that employment for women is “beginning to pick up again, but it’s not as rapid as it is for men”.
Looking at October 2012, the decrease in the number of claimants fell by just 9,050 to 268,545, while there was a decrease of 1,210 to 151,627 for females.
The Live Register includes part-time workers – those who work up to three days a week, seasonal and casual workers.
There were 81,319 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register in October 2013, which represents 20.5 per cent of the total Live Register. This compares with 20.4 per cent one year earlier when there were 85,663 casual and part-time workers on the Live Register.
In the year to October 2013 the number of persons aged 25 and over on the Live Register decreased by 16,324, and the number of persons aged under 25 decreased by 7,336.
Annual decreases in persons aged under 25 have occurred in all months since July 2010, while the number of persons aged 25 and over have fallen annually in all months since July 2012.
Burton said that while emigration remains a worry the number of people “closing off their claim” on the Register is down by about 4,000.
There were 33,173 new registrants on the Live Register in October 2013. Males accounted for 56.6 per cent and females 43.4 per cent of all new registrants.
Burton also said there have been increases in employment in the areas of financial services and construction. She said she hoped there would be opportunities for workers facing redundancy at Danske Bank.
- additional reporting Hugh O’Connell
First published 1.09pm