March Unemployment Statistics
On the 5th April the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Monthly Unemployment figures for March 2016, which showed that 187,700 people were officially unemployed, a drop of 23,400 on the same month last year. The unemployment rate fell by 1.2% over the year to 8.6%, a figure last seen in December 2008.
On the 7th April the CSO published the Live Register for March 2016, which showed 315,600 people were signing-on, a drop of 33,076 on the same month last year. 141,000 people were on the Register for more than a year, 19,403 less people than in March 2015.
The CSO also produces information on the numbers of people on activation programmes including Community Employment, Back to Education Allowance and JobBridge. This information is a month behind the Live Register data and so in February 2016 there were 79,009 people on activation programmes, a drop of 8,616 on the same month last year.
A decline in the training and education programme participation accounted for 84% of the decline in activation programmes, including a decline of 1,152 in what are termed ‘FAS (Solas) Full Time Training for Unemployed People’. These Solas training programmes include, for example, the Local Training Initiative, Traineeships, Specific Skills training and return to work courses. There was a much bigger drop in the numbers of people on the Back to Education Allowance (-6,079), which facilitates people to return to the formal education system.
Amongst the employment programmes annual increases were seen in the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (+487); Part-time Job Incentive Scheme (+15); Tús (+45); and Gateway (+396). Amongst the schemes that have less participants than in February 2015 are the Short-term Enterprise Allowance (-67); Community Employment (-304); and, finally JobBridge which saw the biggest decline (-1,955), bringing the participant numbers on this scheme back to the first quarter of 2012 when it was only up and running a few months.
The decline in the training and education provision begs the question: are enough unemployed people being supported to acquire the necessary skills to access the jobs that are available, and in particular the jobs with the better long-term prospects? This is an important question to answer given the skills gap regularly highlighted between the jobs emerging and people in the Labour Force, which includes people who are unemployed.
Job Shadow Day
Over 1000 jobseekers and employers set to team up for Job Shadow Day 2016.
The Irish Association for Supported Employment (IASE) is pleased to announce the ninth annual National Supported Employment Week which will run from 24th – 30th April.
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