IRELAND’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE remained unchanged at 14.6 per cent in December, despite a slight drop in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits.
Seasonally adjusted figures show there was a decrease of 1,400 people on the live register last month, bringing the total number of people claiming unemployment benefits to 430,900.
The number of people aged 25 or under on the live register decreased by a massive 10 per cent, marking the 29th month in a row that there has been a drop in young people claiming unemployment benefits, most likely due to emigration.
There was a drop of 1,800 men on the live register in December but the number of women increased by 400.
The number of long-term claimants – defined as people who have been on the live register for one year or more – increased by 3.5 per cent to 187,144 over the course of 2012, the figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
On average, just over 6,000 new claimants a week signed on the live register every week of December.
Unadjusted figures show there were 423,733 people signing on the live register in December – a year-on-year decrease of 2.5 per cent.
The live register includes seasonal, part-time and casual workers who also receive some unemployment benefits. Just over 20 per cent of the people on the live register in December were casual or part-time workers.
The figures, which are published on the first Friday of every month, are compiled by the Central Statistics Office using information from local offices of the Department of Social and Family Affairs.