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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
doing your sums

Jobless figures are now being worked out differently, but the results seem to add up

The rate has remained steady but numbers dipped slightly.

THE NUMBER OF people unemployed fell last month, but not by enough to change the overall unemployment rate which remains just under double-digits.

The Central Statistics Office says the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 9.8%, unchanged from April and down from 11.7% last year.

The figures show the continued disparity between unemployed among men and women with the unemployment rate for men remaining in double-digits at 11%. For women, the figure stands at 8.3%.

The stats show a steady decline in the rate of unemployment since the rate peaked at 15.2% in January 2012.


Overall, there were 209,700 people unemployed in the state last month, down from over 300,000 when unemployment was at its height.

Jobs Minster Richard Bruton says today’s figures represent ‘significant improvement’ for the economy, adding that the government has set a target of “full employment” by 2018.

Full employment is generally defined as an unemployment rate of between 4-6%.

“Today’s figures show that the trends which have been evident for some time are continuing, with the number of people unemployed continuing to fall. However the scale of the challenge ahead of us remains huge,” the minister said this afternoon.

The CSO say they’ve changed how they compile their monthly unemployment figures. They’re now based on the Quarterly National Household Survey and each month is then to be revised based information from the Live Register.

Conall Mac Coille from financial advisors Davy say that the change in methodology means it’s “strange” to release separate unemployment rate and Live Register estimates.

“Some commentators could be tempted to conclude that the new separate monthly unemployment rate publication is intended to distract attention from the total 350,000 social welfare claimants (an additional 140,000) on the Live Register that are not considered to be unemployed,” he says.

“These claimants are not deemed active labour market participants and are therefore not included in the unemployment estimates.”

Read: For the first time in seven years, Ireland’s unemployment rate is under 10% >

Read: There’s no shame in redundancy – hold your head high and try again >

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