February 2018 Unemployment Figures

6 Mar 2018

On February 27th the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the Monthly Unemployment (MU) figures for February 2018. The MU figures are based on the most recent Labour Force Survey (LFS) and changes in the subsequent Live Register figures. In February the Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) was 6%, a decrease of 1.3% over the year, and brings the rate back to May 2008 levels. The MUR for people aged 25 to 74 years remained at 5.2%, a decline of 1.1%, while for people aged 15-24 years it was 13.2%, down 0.8% on February 2017.

On March 1st the CSO published the Live Register for February 2018. According to these figures there were 235,344 people on the Register, a drop of 14.4% over the year. The CSO divides the country into 8 regions and over the year the Register figures fell across all of them. Young people, under 25 years of age, account for 10.9% of the Register, with young women accounting for 41% of this figure. Amongst the older age group, 25 years and over, the age group with the greatest number of people on the Register is the 25-34 years group, with women accounting for 40% of this figure.

96,574 people, or 41% of the Register, were on it for more than a year, a decline of 17.5% over the year. Of this figure 56,180 people were on the Register for 3 years and over. The age group with the largest number of people in this position was people aged 60-64 years of age, 12,843 people. And of this group, 5,954 were classified as ‘Jobseekers Allowance applications’ and 6,889 were classified as ‘Other registrants’.

In the annex to the Live Register figures, the CSO publishes data on participation on activation programmes. These figures lag a month behind the Live Register ones and so, in January 2018, there were 60,590 people participating on employment, education and training programmes. This represents a drop of 12.2% over the year. An 11.5% drop in the numbers of people participating on employment programmes accounts for 58.9% of the overall decrease on activation programmes. Participation on two of these programmes continued to drop dramatically: JobBridge by 100% to 0 participants; and Gateway by 92% over the past year to 45 participants. Participation on education and training programmes also fell by 13.5%, to 22,192 learners.