THE number of people claiming social welfare in Limerick dropped by more than 1,000 last month.
Data just released from the Central Statistics Office shows that there are now 20,178 people on the live register across the county, a drop of some 1,087 month on month.
The decrease was most pronounced in the city, where the figure facing the dole queue is down to 14,460, from 15,162 at the end of August.
Meanwhile, there has been a drop of 164 in the numbers unemployed in Kilmallock, from 2,725 last month to 2,561 this.
In Newcastle West, a similar drop has been recorded, with the number out of work dipping to 3,157 to 3,378.
The drop in numbers is likely reflective of students going back to college.
Chairman of the economic committee, Cllr Diarmuid Scully says there is still no reason to be celebrating - and he urged people to talk up the county.
“There is an awful lot of work still to be done. Nobody is going to be cracking open the champagne on this. We do not know how much of this is down to emigration, as opposed to job creation,” Cllr Scully said, “The economy is flat. We are not contracting anymore, but neither are we recovering. It is going to take time,” he said.
Of the number of people out of work in the city area, the majority - 9,437 are men. Cllr Scully said the perception of Limerick should be changed - and while those outside can do little about it, many here can control it.
Citing an example of a company which was considering expansion to Limerick, he added: “I remember a significant multi-national company a number of years ago which chose Galway over Limerick because its staff, relocating from Dublin, would not move to Limerick,” he said, adding if people continue to talk the city down, it “becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy”.