THE LATEST FIGURES for unemployment show there was a slight decrease in the number of people signing on to the live register in February.
The Central Statistics Office figures found the live register fell by 1,800 people in February, a decrease of 0.4 per cent. The seasonally adjusted current number of people signing on to the live register is 438,300.
The unemployment rate in February remained at 14.2 per cent, which was unchanged from January.
The seasonally adjusted figures show a monthly decrease of 1,100 men from the live register and 600 women in February.
The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) said that the decrease was likely to be due to the high number of people emigrating.
The organisation also expressed concern over the number of people who have been on the live register for more than a year, which currently stands at almost 185,000.
A spokesperson for small and medium businesses in Ireland said that figures underline the “horrendous” employment situation and demanded immediate action on jobs.
“The slight reduction in the headline figures masks the true level of unemployment which is under-reported through increased emigration, increased participation on state training initiatives and a significant rise in individuals remaining in education,” said Mark Fielding, chief executive of ISME.
“The true picture in the jobs market is that well over half a million of our citizens are out of work”.
The Small Firms Association welcomed the drop in the live register figures but expressed concern over the figures which show that over 40 per cent of claimants have been on the live register for a year or more.
“While the drop in the live register is welcomed, action is vital to address the unemployment crisis and address the challenges that are being faced to get people back to work,” said Avine McNally of the Small Firms Association.