Unemployment rate remained unchanged in September despite Brexit worries

Unemployment rate remained unchanged in September despite Brexit worries
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The unemployment rate for September remains unchanged from last month but is down 7,500 from last year, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The number of people unemployed in Ireland was 126,900 in September 2019, compared to 127,500 in August 2019, keeping the seasonally adjusted rate at 5.3%.

When compared to September 2018, there was an annual decrease of 7,500 in the number of those not in registered employment.

Broken down by gender, the unemployment rate was 5.5% for men at 72,600, remaining unchanged from August 2019 when 71,400 were unemployed, and down from 5.6% in September 2018 when 73,200 were unemployed.

The unemployment rate for women was 4.9% at 54,200 in September 2019, down from 5.1% in August 2019, and down from 56,100 and 5.6% in the same time period last year.

The youth unemployment rate in Ireland (for people aged 15-24 years) was 14.8% in September 2019 remaining unchanged from August.

Ireland performs slightly above its EU counterparts, however the trend is similar across the eurozone, as the unemployment rate in the 19-country group dropped in August to its lowest in more than 11 years, data from the European Union statistics agency states, a rate of 7.4%.

In Budget 2020 I will outline what I and this Government will do if we find ourselves having to deal with the vista of no-deal Brexit

There has been widespread concern about the effect on the Irish labour market as a no-deal Brexit looks increasingly likely, especially in the border regions which would bear the brunt of any customs or tariff disruptions due to their dependence on cross-border trade.

A previous report by The Central Bank stated that Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal could cost Ireland over 100,000 jobs.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe says he has prepared this year’s budget based on a no-deal scenario and has sought to reassure those whose jobs could be threatened by Brexit.

“I understand the concern that can cause and I feel it first-hand, the concern people do have over what no-deal Brexit could create,” he said.

“In Budget 2020 I will outline what I and this Government will do if we find ourselves having to deal with the vista of no-deal Brexit.”

Andrew Webb, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton Ireland, said: "September’s unemployment figures demonstrate continued labour market strength.

"While there was no change in the unemployment rate over the month, 600 fewer people on the register will be most welcome following a period of increasingly worrisome indicators.

"How the labour market rides out the coming months will be largely dependent on how messy Brexit becomes.

"On current indicators, it would be a wholly positive surprise if the labour market reaches year-end in the same positive trend.”

- Additional reporting by Digital desk.

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