The number of people on the Live Register fell by almost 2% last month and now stands at the lowest level since the recession.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people signing on last month fell by 4,100 (-1.8%), reducing the seasonally adjusted total to 224,900.
The number of persons on the register is also the lowest number recorded in the since July 2008. In unadjusted terms, there were 223,502 persons signing on last month — a decrease of almost 15%.
The Live Register is not designed to measure unemployment. The figures are obtained from returns made directly to the CSO by each of the local offices of the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
It includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to jobseeker’s benefit or jobseeker’s allowance.
It emerged during the week that unemployment fell to a new post-recession low of just under 6% last month.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May fell to 5.8% from 5.9% in April and was lower than the rate of 6.6% in May of last year.
The register shows a monthly seasonally adjusted decrease of 2,700 (2.1%) men while the number of women fell by 1,400 (1.4%) over the same period.
The number of men on the register reduced by 24,761 (16.2%) to 127,699 in the year to May this year, while the number of women on the register decreased by 14,439 (13.1%) to 95,803.
The number of long-term claimants on the register last month was 94,697. There was a decrease of 19,075 claimants (16.8%) over the previous 12 months.
The number of men who are long-term claimants fell by 12,999 (18.7%) in the year to May while the number of women decreased by 6,076 (13.7%).
It emerged that 128,805 (57.6%) of all claimants on the register last month were short-term claimants and the comparable figure for May last year was 148,930 (56.7%).
There were 46,917 casual and part-time workers on the register last month — 21% of the total register. Over the last 12 months, the number of casual and part-time workers reduced by 10,049 (17.6%), with the number of men decreasing by 5,924 (20.1%) and the number of women by 4,125 (15%).
Over the year the number of persons aged 25 and older on the register fell by 33,582 (14.4%) and the number of persons aged under 25 decreased by 5,618 (18.6%).
Annual decreases in persons under 25 have occurred in all the months since July 2010 and the percentage for this age group on the register now stands at 11% for May.
There were 23,121 new registrants last month. Men accounted for 12,851 (55.6%) and women 10,270 (44.4%) of all new registrants.
Craft and related occupations (17.3%) remained the largest occupational group on the register but the number has fallen over the year by 8,731 to 38,737 and had the largest percentage decrease at 18.4%.
The sales group was the second largest annual percentage decrease at 18.2%.
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