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Every single month in 2014 there were fewer and fewer people on the dole queue

The unemployment rate is now down to 10.6%.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

NUMBERS ON THE dole have dropped to another post-recession low as 3,300 fewer people signed on last month compared to November.

It moves the unemployment rate down to 10.6% from a high of 15.1% back in 2012 and from 12.4% this time last year.

The latest drop means that the standardised unemployment rate fell every month during 2014.

The Central Statistics Office says that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Live Register dipped by 3,300 last month with men making making up over 75% of those numbers.

Overall, there are now almost 40,000 less people singing onto the dole than there was at the beginning of 2014.

The CSO stats also show that there has been a 8.3% decrease in the number of people signing on for year or more. The figures show that there were 14,975 people signing on in last month who were also unemployed 12 months previous.

PastedImage-8891 Source: CSO

Despite this, long term claimants still make up a significant portion of those signing on, 46.3% of the total.

Again, these figures show significant differences between male and female claimants as the number of women signing on for over a year actually increased by 150 throughout 2014.

This is in stark contrast to the 14,975 few long-term male claimants and can in large part be attributed to the effect of the construction sector.

long-term Source: CSO

The dramatic collapse of the construction sector since 2007 can also be observed in other areas of the Live Register figures.

For example, ‘craft and related’ (19.9%) remained the largest occupational group on the Live Register in December, despite the fact that the number in the group fell over the year by 12,977.

Investec economist Philip O’Sullivan says that the 10.6% rate is “still high in absoulte terms” but noted that “it is steadily moving in the right direction”.

He also cautioned that other facts like emigration must be taken into account when assessing drops in unemployment:

The total number of people on the Live Register fell by 9.9% over the course of 2014 and is now 18.9% below the August 2011 peak of 448,800. The positive trends in hiring has been a key driver of this, but there is no denying that emigration and extended stays in higher education have also played supporting roles in producing this outcome.

Read: The dole queue has shrunk to a post-recession low… And Joan Burton’s happy >

Read: A Twitter row over this incredibly vague graph climaxed with a FG TD calling a voter a “moron” >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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