Jobless figures - Encouraging news at last

The latest employment figures released by the Central Statistics Office are encouraging. The number of people signing on has fallen for the 16th month in a row.

There are 396,512 people on the Live Register. This is the first time that the unadjusted figure has dropped below 400,000 since May 2009. The seasonally adjusted rate showed that there were 2,9000 fewer male claimants, but female claimants rose by 700. Thus, there is no room for complacency, notwithstanding the encouraging signs in the labour market.

During the first nine months of 2013, the number of people under the age of 25 on the dole decreased by 10.5%. That figure is certainly welcome, but we should be mindful that high emigration among that age group is an utterly deplorable aspect of this improvement.

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