Live Register back to Pre-Celtic Tiger Levels

9 Jan 2009

It's December 1993 since the Live Register was over 293,000. According to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office the seasonally adjusted figure stood at 293,500. In December '93 it was 293,900 however only a year ago it stood at 172,400. This represents a 70% increase over the past year.

Not too surprisingly the Standardised Unemployment Rate has also seen a dramatic increase. It now stands at 8.3%. SUR was only 4.7% a year ago - a change of 3.6%. This is an extraordinary development when one considers that over the past 8 years the SUR has only varied by 1.1%. In the first quarter of 2001 it was at its lowest - 3.7%; in January 2000 and July 2003 it stood at 4.8%. However from January 2008 it started a rapid rise from 4.9%.

"Unfortunately, 2009 is unlikely to see any improvement," noted BrĂ­d O'Brien, INOU's Head of Policy and Media. "In a week when major companies announced job losses and redundancies are running at an all time high, the INOU expects unemployment to hit 10% by the middle of the year," she continued.

Given the scale of the problem emerging major policy initiatives are required to address rising unemployment. Re-education and training are cited as essential developments to ensure Ireland's longer term economic and social progression. However, unless concerted work is undertaken to ensure that these developments are matched up with emerging employment opportunities they will not yield the necessary results.