1,760 extra a week sign on in December

18 Jan 2002

The Live Register Area Analysis published today (18/01/02) shows that the 5,285 increase in December was spread across all regions. The Mid- East and the South- East, at 7.5% and 4.5% experienced the largest increases in the month. Data is currently only available for the first three weeks of December, however it shows that 1,760 additional people signed on the dole each week during that period.

" It is increasingly clear that unemployment is going to be a General Election issue in a substantial number of constituencies. Counties that have up until now benefited from the economic growth are beginning to feel the slowdown very starkly. A clear example of this is Co. Meath, which has experienced a 37% increase in Live Register participation over the course of 2001." said Noeleen Hartigan, Welfare to Work Co-ordinator with the INOU.

The annual increase of 7.6% in the Live Register was echoed in every region. The largest annual increases were in the Mid East and the South West, at 14% and 11.2% respectively. The counties which have fared the worst in the last year include: Louth, (18% increase); Monaghan ( 10%); Westmeath ( 13%); Kildare ( 13%); Meath ( 37%); Clare ( 16%); Cork ( 15%) and Waterford ( 24%).

The INOU launched their General Election campaign in December, calling on all political parties to commit to linking welfare payments to 30% of Gross Average Industrial Earnings. The campaign will involve over 150 INOU affiliated organisations in the Republic of Ireland. " We will be publishing each political party's response to our demand that welfare payments are linked to wages. We expect both unemployed people, and workers who are concerned about becoming unemployed to take a very active interest in this campaign", Ms Hartigan concluded.

ENDS
For further information contact:
Noeleen Hartigan, Welfare to Work Co Ordinator
087 61 67 689 /01 856 0088Monthly Live Register increases in all regions