The rise in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits over the last year has increased at the fastest rate since records began over 40 years ago.
In July, 10,600 people joined the Live Register bringing the seasonally adjusted total signing on to 226,000, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office this morning.
The monthly increase is the second highest on record after March of this year. The number on the register is the highest in a decade.
Last month’s increase lifted the standardised unemployment rate to 5.9 per cent, the CSO said.
Over the last 12 months the number of people seeking unemployment benefits has risen by over a third with 63,647 people joining the register.
In July 6,700 males and 3,800 females joined the register.
Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael enterprise spokesman accused the Government of losing control of a deteriorating economic situation.
He said Ireland’s standard unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent was now far higher than the US at 5.5 per cent; Britain at 5.25 per cent or Japan’s 4 per cent.
For this reason he said “Ireland’s unemployment rate cannot be blamed on the global economic situation”, he said.
“While most western nations are standing out in the cold, Ireland is the only one without a jacket. This is a direct result of Brian Cowen’s mismanagement of the economy over the past five years,” Mr Varadkar said.
Alan McQuaid, senior economist with Bloxhams said although the unadjusted monthly rise of 17,429 in July was lower than the 19,000 increase in June, it was still higher than expectations.
“The slowdown in construction activity and the weakening manufacturing sector are becoming more pronounced in the data and the likelihood is that things will get worse before they get better,” he said.
Mr McQuaid noted that the data only covered the month up to July 25th and may fail to capture the number of construction lay-offs in the days before the August Bank Holiday.
“This may be picked up in the August data and so we remain pessimistic about next month’s figures”, he said.
The Live Register is not strictly a measure of unemployment as it includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers who are entitled to jobseekers benefit or allowance. However, it is a useful indicator of short-term changes in the numbers out of work.
Although the figures are for the month of July, they cover the period up to the last Friday of the month. Media interest in the figures means they were being released earlier than normal. Usually CSO data is released on the 1st day of the following month.
That report was by DAVID LABANYI - irishtimes.com
Jobless costing State €690m more as extra 10,000 join dole...
A MASSIVE €690m hole has been blown in the Government's finances after it emerged that over 63,000 more people had signed on the Live Register by last month than had done so by the same time last year.
The standardised unemployment rate is also on the rise, now standing at 5.9pc, with economists predicting it will climb to 7.5pc by the end of next year.
More than 238,000 signed on the live register this month, an increase of over 17,000 on June and 63,000 more than this time last year -- a jump of 36.5pc.
When adjusted for seasonal factors, the figures make just as grim reading: 226,000 signed on -- 10,000 more than last month and 63,600 higher than last year...
ISME, which represents small and medium-sized companies, said it was alarmed at the rapid rise in the "bleak" live register figures...Its chief executive, Mark Fielding, said the figures were "frightening" and that the labour market was in "freefall".
Fine Gael accused the Government of losing control of the deteriorating economic situation.
Report Fergus Black Irish Independent
How can Ireland have gone from the Celtic Tiger to this mess???