By Colm Phelan
The number of people who are claiming jobseeker’s benefits is decreasing, after September 2016 saw the lowest numbers for over forty years.
In 2009, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s benefits rose significantly due to the economic crash.
However, since then the numbers have been on a steady decrease, with 2016 posting the lowest numbers since the surge in 2009.
According to official statistics from the CSO, September of this year recorded the lowest amount of people who are receiving weekly pay on the Jobseeker’s Benefit Scheme.
In September, it was recorded that 37,097 people had claimed from one of the three categories. This is the lowest amount for a single month since October 1974, which recorded 33,954 claims.
The three categories refer to the amount of pay received per week, with a maximum of€188.00 a week allocated for those fully qualified. The qualified adult rate is €124.80, with the child rate standing at €29.80 as of July 2015.
Jobseeker’s benefits are a social insurance scheme, set up to help those who are unemployed and provide them with a means of income.
A person who is unemployed has the right to claim jobseeker’s allowance providing they are capable of work and are both available to work and genuinely seeking work.
The jobseeker’s scheme also allows those who do find part time work to claim pay for the days which they are not working.
However, the amount of applications for jobseeker’s benefits is still rather high. In fact,according to statistics on the CSO website, 2016 has a similar amount of applications as previous years, even surpassing 2009 (per month) which had the highest number of people getting their applications accepted.
Although the 2016 figures feature only nine months as opposed to twelve, recent years show that application figures throughout the year remain fairly consistent.
The largest increase in applications came in 2009, where the numbers jumped from 150,856 in January, to 239,079 applications in December of the same year.
The year of 2015 showed a decrease in applications from January to September, from 243,877 to 218,941 respectively.
Recent information about wait times in relation to claiming social benefits revealed that jobseeker’s claims have the quickest response time of two weeks. Child benefit claims have been recorded to take up to twenty-eight weeks.