JUST UNDER 20,000 people are now on the Live Register in Limerick - the first time figures have begun to drop and now compare with similar levels three years ago.
The latest Live Register figures for April show that in total there were a total of 19,876 people seeking work in Limerick, with nearly 14,000 of those in the city. Kilmallock and Newcastle West had between 2,600 and 3,300 signing on in their areas respectively.
In 2008, there were less than 10,000 people on the Live Register locally, but this figure doubled a year later, and reached a peak of nearly 21,700 in 2010.
Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan said the figures show that very few people are getting new jobs, especially when the huge numbers of people emigrating is factored in.
“It is clear that no progress has been made in tackling the obscene levels of unemployment we have which is causing devastation to families and communities across the city,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan called on the coalition to recognise that austerity isn’t working and to implement a jobs programme based around key infrastructural investment as a matter of urgency. “The single biggest challenge facing the economy is getting people off the dole and back to work. This is the only way to boost growth and reduce the deficit.
“The decision by the government to lower its growth projections for this year by nearly half is an admission that its policies are not working. You cannot cut your way out of a recession. Nor can you create jobs by cutting public spending and imposing taxes on low and middle-income earners. Jobs require real investment,” he said.