Unemployment rate falls to post-recession low

Unemployment in Ireland is at its lowest since before the economic crash of 2008, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The latest figures from the CSO show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October fell to 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent in September.

The unemployment rate has continuously decreased in the last year, with a 1.2 percent decrease between October 2016 and October 2017.

The figures released show that 131,300 people in Ireland were unemployed in October 2017, compared to the 158,100 people who were unemployed in Ireland during the same month last year.

Although the unemployment rate is higher in males than females, both rates decreased in the last year. In October 2017, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent for males, down from 6.8 percent in September 2017 and down from 8.1 percent in October 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in October 2017 was 5.1 percent, which remained unchanged from September 2017 and was down from 6.1 percent in October 2016.

The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 years is still higher than the unemployment rate for people aged 25-74 at 14 percent in October 2017 down from 14.7 percent in September 2017. However, unemployment in young people decreased by 2.7 percent between October 2016 and October 2017.  The unemployment rate in people aged from 25 to 74 has remained unchanged since June 2017 at 5.2 percent.

The Department of Finance has predicted that the unemployment rate in Ireland will fall below 6 percent by the end of the year.

Unemployment expected to dip below 6% before the year’s end.

Fiona McCudden from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation directed thecity.ie to the government’s ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ initiative as one explanation for the encouraging employment figures.

The most recent plan released by the government in February of this year details 164 actions and 430 measures to be implemented throughout the year 2017 by 16 Government departments and 43 agencies under the department’s remit.

The plans aim to support job-creating businesses and remove barriers to employment. It also attempts to prepare businesses for unexpected disruption to the employment sector, such as Brexit, by providing advice on minimising risk regarding exports, investment and expansion etc.

Since the first ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ was released in 2012, the unemployment rate has fallen by nine percent, but positive economic growth across all sectors of the economy is undoubtedly a contributing factor to these promising figures.

By Cara Croke and Chris Kelly

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