Tánaiste: We will drive unemployment below 10%. Latest data shows 43000 fewer people on Live Register year-on-year


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4th March 2015: The success of the Government drive to create jobs and reduce unemployment is further evident in today’s Live Register figures, Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, T.D., and Minister of State with special responsibility for Employment, Community and Social Support, Kevin Humphreys, T.D., have said.
The number of people on the Live Register fell by 42,945 in February when compared with the same month of 2014, a year-on-year reduction of 10.8%. The standardised unemployment rate now stands at 10.1%, down from a crisis peak of 15.1%.

The Tánaiste said: “The Government designed the Pathways to Work and Action Plan for Jobs strategies to help create jobs and ensure as many as possible of them go to people on the Live Register. Today’s figures demonstrate once again that we are on the right track, with unemployment down by one-third from its crisis peak. The unemployment rate is now at 10.1%, and we will drive this below 10% in the coming months. While unemployment is still far too high, a single-figure rate will demonstrate the real progress being made in getting people back to work.”

Minister Humphreys said: The figures from the Live Register today and Quarterly National Household survey last week are clear evidence that the actions being taken all across Government Departments, and particularly in the Department of Social Protection, are steadily attacking the scourge of unemployment. Schemes like JobBridge, Gateway, Tús, Momentum and JobsPlus are all playing their part in helping jobseekers get back to work. My goal is to continue this work, which transforms the economic and social circumstances of people, families and communities around the country.”

The Tánaiste noted that, even though there has been a 9.8% year-on-year reduction in long-term unemployment, it remains a concern, with 162,776 people signing for 12 months or more. She pointed to specific initiatives to combat long-term unemployment, including JobsPlus and the Back to Work Family Dividend.

JobsPlus incentivises businesses to hire jobseekers from the Live Register by providing monthly cash payments to offset wage costs. The JobsPlus incentive is payable on a monthly basis over a two-year period and provides two levels of payment:

  • A payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for between 12 and 24 months. This equates to approximately €312 a month;
  • €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months. This equates to approximately €416 a month.

Since its launch in 2013, approximately 4,000 jobseekers have returned to work via the scheme, three in five of whom had been unemployed for two years or more.
Through the new Back to Work Family Dividend scheme, long-term unemployed jobseekers with children who leave welfare to return to work can retain the child-related portion of their social welfare payment on a tapered basis over two years.  This includes those who move to self-employment, such as the construction sector. It also applies to One Parent Family Payment recipients who similarly go back into the workforce. The scheme is worth €1,550 per child in the first year of employment or self-employment and half that amount again in the second year.

ENDS

Last modified:04/03/2015