THE NUMBER OF people on the Live Register has fallen for the 22nd month in a row.
The unemployment fell 0.1 per cent to 11.7 per cent in April, with 2,673 fewer people on the Live Register.
There were just over 29,000 less people signing on this month compared to the same period in 2013.
While the number of long-term male claimants fell by 7.1 per cent, the number of female claimants rose by 2.5 per cent – the only increase recorded.
However, this represents an overall annual decrease of 4.2 per cent.
The number of casual and part-time workers on the Live Register – making up over 20 per cent of the overall figure – also fell.
Compared to April 2013, claimaints receiving the means-tested Jobseekers Allowance payments now makes up over three-quarters of those on the Liver Register, a rise of more than 3 per cent compared to April 2013.
The number of people on Jobseekers Benefit, which can be claimed when a sufficient number of PRSI stamps have been accumulated, fell by almost a quarter.
Back to Work payments and Activation Programmes, such as JoBBridge, both saw a small rise in the number of claimants between March and February this year.
Reacting to today’s figures, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association warned that the Live Register will not continue to fall if pay rises are introduced.
“While unemployment might be decreasing there is currently no justification for wage increases in the vast majority of SMEs,” CEO Mark Fielding said.
He attacked ICTU and Ibec, saying their ‘partnership mentality’ must be “stopped in its tracks before we re-visit the madness of the ‘bubble’ when our competitiveness dropped by 39% due, in the main, to over-generous wage increases”.