THE number of people out of work in Limerick is once again on the rise according to new figures out this week.
According to information released by the Central Statistics Office, some 13,577 people were claiming unemployment benefits in the city area at the end of January.
This is up from 13,504 at the end of December, and is coupled with a rise in the number of people out of work nationally.
In the county overall, the number of people out of work went up from 19,228 to 19,304.
At Newcastle West’s office, the number signing on was 3,178 last month, a rise from 3,161 at the end of December.
And in Kilmallock, some 2,549 people are claiming unemployment benefits, a drop from the number at the end of December.
Northside Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan has stated his concern that the increase in figures comes almost entirely in those under the age of 25.
“It is clear that long term unemployment is growing and that there are very little job opportunities especially for our young people. This is leading to despair and increased emigration.”
He said that the numbers of people on the live register could be significantly higher, if those people forced to emigrate had in fact remained at home.
“Government policy is failing and it is betraying our people, our businesses and our economy,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan called on the government to stop promising jobs - and start delivering them.
“Whilst thousands have emigrated many more are now also preparing to do so. Questions must be raised about the ability of ministers to deliver jobs, which is the primary challenge facing our country,” he added.
Nationally, there are now 429,396 people out of work - a rise from 423,733 at this time last month.