Live Register Satisfactory - But Redundancies Remain High

10 Nov 2005

The INOU welcomes the October Live Register (LR) figures, which show an ajusted monthly decrease of 3,691 to 149,644 and a small increase (200) in the adjusted figure. This brings the former to below 150,000 for the first time since November 2001. This reflects the current high employment rates in service industries and in construction. However, the level of increase cannot be sustained (especially in construction) and this will be a negative influence on unemployment in the months ahead.

There were 5,937 redundancies in the quarter to end of October. This is over 20% higher than the corresponding period in 2004. "This means we are facing the fourth year in a row of Annual redundancies around 25,000 or 500 jobs lost per week", said Eric Conroy, General Secretary INOU. "Therefore, the numbers on the dole can only go higher in the months ahead" he added.
The INOU is concerned at trhe gender trend in the LR figures. This increase in the adjusted figures includes a male increase of 500, offset by a female reduction of 300. The female percentage of the unadjusted total is down 40.7%, one of the lowest rates in recent times. The male percentage of Unemployment Assistance (UA), which is generally paid after 15 months on Unemployment Benefit (UB), to total LR is around 72%. This is reinforced by the increase in long term unemployment (LTU) amoung men in the QNHS: the male percentage has increased from 73.5% to 76.8% over the last two years.
The loss of many traditional manufactoring jobs in the economy has taken a toll on the older male segment of the Irish population. These men, often in their 40's or 50's and with minimal or low educational qualifications, have probably worked in the company for most of their working life. They now find that their skills are redundant and obtaining new skills for new jobs is difficult at their stage of life. "Every effort must be made via the National Employment Action Plan preventative strategy (which is under review at present) to maximise access for all unemployed people to education, training and employment opportunities, to help them progress to suitable jobs", said Mr. Conroy.