Unemployment Stats for January 2016

4 Feb 2016

In the week that the General Election 2016 gets underway, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Monthly Unemployment and Live Register figures for January 2016. Though the figures continue to move in the right direction, there are still over 320,000 people on the Live Register, 145,455 of whom have been on it for more than one year.

The figures for people participating on activation programmes is published as part of the Live Register but is a month behind and so in December 2015 there were 82,309 people on such programmes. Of this number, 50,483 were on employment programmes, down 1.5% on the same month last year. These programmes include Community Employment (22,813), Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (11,881), TUS (7,939), JobBridge (4683) and Gateway (2,350). A number of these programmes increased over the past year: Gateway by 39%, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance by 6%. Other programmes decreased over the same period: JobBridge by 26%, Community Employment by 1.8%.

There were 31,826 people participating on education and training programmes, down 14% over the year. Of this figure 19,345 were on the Back to Education Allowance which facilitates unemployed people and others to re-enter the formal education system, while 7,481 were on full-time training programmes.

According to the Monthly Unemployment figures there were 186,700 people unemployed in January and the Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) stood at 8.6%. It is important to note that to be included in the unemployment figures, respondents must answer yes to two questions: firstly, that they have been actively seeking work and secondly, that they are available to take it up. If a respondent, in the Quarterly National Household Survey on which these figures are based, answers ‘no’ to either or both of these questions then they are not included in the unemployment figures. So missing from MUR will be people who are unemployed, but who have lost heart trying to find work; people who have run into barriers in the labour market including ageism; people who are living in areas where the recovery has yet to materialise.