Unemployment rate drops to 8.4% as more youths find work

The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 per cent last month, down from 8.6 per cent in March and from 9.7 per cent for April 2015, new figures from theCentral Statistics Office (CSO) reveal.

The data show the number of people recorded as unemployed totalled 183,700 last month, down 3,700 compared to March and down 25,700 versus the same month a year earlier.

The youth unemployment rate declined from 19.1 per cent in March to 18 per cent last month.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for men declined from 10.2 per cent to 9.9 per cent on a monthly basis and from 11 per cent versus the same month in the preceding year.

The unemployment rate for females dropped from 6.7 per cent in March to 6.6 per cent last month and was down from 8.1 per cent compared to April 2015.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton welcomed the continuing fall in unemployment but warned of major challenges ahead.

“There are many significant risks to our continuing recovery – including Brexit, conflict and instability in the Middle East, oil prices, slowdown in China – and yesterday we saw the EU Commission downgrade its forecasts for EU growth. All of this highlights the need to continue making changes in the areas over which we have control – in particular, to do everything possible to improve our international competitiveness,” he said.

Isme also welcomed the latest figures but said the next government needed to withstand pressure from unions to raise wages.

Elsewhere, Merrion chief economist Alan McQuaid said he expected the unemployment rate to continue to decline.

“With the economy continuing to grow strongly, an average jobless rate of 8.2 per cent is now envisaged for 2016, down from 9.4 per cent in 2015 and 11.3 per cent in 2014,” he said.


Ref: Irish Times