Fewer in building trade on the dole

The number of construction workers claiming the dole has dropped by one fifth in just over a year.

According to figures from Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, the number of people in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers allowance, at the end of June, was 343,301.

Of those, 84,685 had occupations which were either in or could be linked to construction activities.

The minister gave a similar update at the end of May 2013. At that point there were 417,593 people on the Live Register and, of those, 104,754 had been linked to construction.

The biggest falls have been in ‘construction trades’, which have fallen from 51,715 to 42,930, and ‘other occupations in construction’, down from 15,716 to 13,109. Even under the more specialised title of ‘woodworking trades’ there has been a significant improvement with the number of dole claimants falling from 7,465 to 5,836.

The Construction Industry Federation conceded a small amount of the fall could be down to emigration, but said it was more attributable to a recovery in the industry. “These are very positive figures,” a spokesman said.

“The CIF has maintained that the quickest way to create large-scale employment in this country is to get the construction sector operating at a sustainable level again. The sector has experienced a slight increase in activity over the course of the year and you can already see the impressive impact that is having on reducing the Live Register figures for the construction industry.”

He said that, as the Government’s strategy for the sector, Construction 2020, moves forward, “we should see a substantial increase in the number of construction jobs created in the coming years”.


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