There amount of people signing Ireland’s Live Register, America’s equivalent of unemployment benefits, rose by 1,500 people in July, increasing the unemployment rate by 0.1percent.
Ireland's current unemployment rate stands at 14.3percent. Last month, there were 470,284 people on the Live Register, totaling to 34,6000 over the course of the year.
Commenting on the rise in figures, Irish Small to Medium Enterprizes (ISME) chief executive Mark Fielding said that “the expected but still shocking Live Register and redundancy figures show quite clearly that the Government’s action is not having the desired effect on the jobs situation, as evidenced by today’s numbers.”
Other small businesses seem to agree with them Fielding’s views on the government’s ineffectiveness. Fielding reported that 1/5 of them "have indicated they will be forced into further lay-offs unless serious action is taken," the Irish Times reported.
The Irish Times reported that 68.2percent were jobseeker’s allowance claimants, 18.3percent were part time workers, up from 16.9percent of all claimants last year.
Welfare payments now made to half the Irish population
In terms of those claiming long term benefits, the number of those on the Live Register, which includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers, increased by 45,508 to the end of last month, which means that 40.4percent of the claimants had been on the list for a year or more. In total, the number of long term claimants last month was 190,062 people.
1,300 women joined the Live Register last month, rising by 3.7 percent over the year, as opposed to the average 10.1percent annual increase for women. The number of long-term female claimant also rose, this time by 32.9percent.
For men, last month only 300 joined the Live Register; they have an annual increase of 6.8percent, yet this year their percentage dropped by 0.9percent. The number of long-term claimants did, however, increase by 31percent.
Chambers Ireland, a lobby group, did say that despite the frightening data, they believe the numbers of those unemployed may in fact be slowing down. “It is our expectation that recent positive Government initiatives such as the reform of the JLC system, particularly the removal of the ability to set Sunday premium pay rates will help more businesses to stay open and in turn retain and create more jobs," chief executive Ian Talbot said.
He also added that the Irish people "must not lose sight of the challenges we continue to face and the need to take appropriate measures to address them.”