THERE are now almost 300 fewer people on Limerick’s live register, according to figures just released.
Information from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has dropped by 298 people.
At the end of February, there were 20,332 people out of work in Co Limerick.
But by the end of March, this figure had dropped down to 20,034 people.
In the city, the number of people out of work has dropped from 14,296 to 14,071, a drop of 225 people month-on-month.
However, Fianna Fail’s enterprise spokesman Willie O’Dea believes this fall is mainly down to the number of people being forced to leave Ireland for work.
“Most of the anecdotal evidence suggests the drop in unemployment is due to emigration. Nationally, the number of people who are unemployed for more than a year has gone up 50 per cent, which is rather sinister. My understanding is the total number of people unemployed for more than two years is a third of the unemployment figure,” Mr O’Dea told the Limerick Leader.
He said that 14 months into this government’s life, the situation regarding unemployment has not improved.
“The government was elected on the basis that they would immediately tackle unemployment, but the situation has not improved. For all the policies, spin and hype, there has been no significant improvement,” he concluded. Nationally, the Central Statistics Office has revealed a drop of 3,000 people on the live register, bringing the total to 434,800.