Unemployment rate at seven-year low of 8.9%

Some 191,700 people were recorded as unemployed last month — a rate of 8.9%.

Official CSO figures revealed the number of people out of work has come down by 32,100 (1.5 percentage points) in the last year.

A breakdown of the records showed 120,700 men and 71,000 women were classed as unemployed, while the youth unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 19.5%, a small fall on October’s rate of 19.8%.

The CSO said the last time unemployment was below 9% was in late 2008; it subsequently peaked at more than 15%.

Davy Stockbrokers said the figures may be revised down again in the coming months when other studies are taken into account by the statisticians.

It said the real unemployment rate could be closer to 8.5%. “The flat unemployment rate in November should not be taken as a strong signal of any slowdown in the labour market,” said Davy.

“Our concern is that our forecast for the unemployment rate to average 8.2% in 2016 could still prove too pessimistic.”

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton warned there is no room for complacency in attempts to create jobs. “The closer we get to full employment, the more difficult it is to continue to ensure that the jobs that are created are filled by people who are unemployed,” he said.


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