Immigrants worst hit by jobs crisis

THE Dublin region and immigrants have continued to be worst hit by the deepening jobs crisis, while Taoiseach Brain Cowen’s home area of Offaly showed the largest by county percentage increase of those on the live register last month.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) live register figures showed an increase to 371,271 in March from 354,437 in February, a monthly increase of 16,834 or 4.7%.

This was reflected in all regions but the largest percentage increase was in the Dublin region, with 5,244 people joining the register in this area over the last month, an increase of 6.4%.

Last month there were 295,658 Irish nationals and 75,613 non-Irish nationals on the live register. This represents a monthly increase of 12,937, 4.6%, in Irish nationals and 3,897 or 5.4% in non-Irish nationals.

In the year to March 2009, the number of Irish nationals on the live register increased by 128,785, while the corresponding annual increase for non-Irish nationals was 44,494.

Non-Irish nationals now represent 20.4% of all persons on the live register.

Among non-Irish nationals the largest number on the live register were people from the EU accession states — 43,559 — while the smallest number were from the EU 15 states outside Ireland and Britain — 4,245.

The smallest percentage increase, 3%, was in the south-east.

Among counties, the largest percentage increase was in Offaly — 6.5% or 438 people. The smallest percentage increase of 1.8% was in Waterford.

Last month Minister for Integration Conor Lenihan said he was exploring with Fás new training schemes for unemployed migrants.

However, SPITU national organiser Noel Dowling said dividing workers according to national background for retraining could be counterproductive.

He said: “Retraining people according to the sectors in which they are, or were, employed would seem to be more sensible.”


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