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Unemployment will be below 400,000 before Christmas, says Varadkar

The Transport Minister says he’s “fairly sure” there will be fewer than 400,000 people on the live register by Christmas.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Leo Varadkar has said that fewer than 400,000 people will be unemployed “by Christmas”.

“The various different rating agencies are have started to look at their growth statistics for this year and for next year and have started to upgrade them and that’s a new experience for us – it potentially changes budgetary arithmetic – it’s very encouraging,” said Varadkar, speaking at the Irish US Alumni’s Prominent Alumni Lecture Series at the US Ambassador’s residence in Phoenix Park.

Varadkar said the live register has  been falling several months “little by little” and that he was “fairly sure” it would fall below 400,000 before Christmas – which he described as “a big psychological barrier”.

The minister dismissed the suggestion that falling live register numbers were a result of people leaving the country in search of work. “It’s not all down to migration – we know it’s not because there has been a growth of the number of people at work in the economy in particular sectors like science and technology and IT also food and accommodation in the tourist sector which has seen roughly 10,000 increase in the number of people at work in the last two years,” he said.

Column: The reality of unemployment is being masked by emigration
Read: 100 fewer people on the Live Register last month
Read: Record breaker: Eurozone unemployment now at 12.1 per cent

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