Commenting on the increased Live Register for December 2010, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Social Protection said: "It is normal for the Live Register to increase in December because of seasonal factors. The increase in December can be attributed to people who are temporarily employed in the educational sector signing on over the holiday period. People who are in full time employment but who do not qualify for holiday pay may have signed on and some businesses temporarily close during the holiday period. The adverse weather conditions in December would also have affected certain sectors, such as the construction sector.
Minister Ó Cuív continued: "It is worth noting that the Live Register in December 2010 is almost 30,000 lower than it was at the end of August and I am confident that the Live Register will decrease further during 2011. Other economic indicators such as the stabilisation of the Exchequer returns during 2010 and the positive news on the greatly improved level of exports of Irish goods and services are encouraging as we follow the difficult path to recovery set out in the 4-year National Recovery Plan."
The Live Register unadjusted or headline figure for December 2010 is 437,079 which is an increase of 12,077 from last month (November).
The Live Register seasonally adjusted figure for December is 444,000 which is an increase of 5,200 on November 2010.
"I and my colleagues in Government are continuing to give priority to job protection, job creation and supporting unemployed people," the Minister added and he referred to initiatives to ensure that unemployed people are given the support they need to find employment or to develop the skills and aptitudes required to progress towards employment by undertaking appropriate education, training or work experience.
"Just last month I announced details of a new work placement initiative in the community sector. The initiative, known as Tús, will provide 5,000 short term working opportunities with community sector organisations to support the delivery of their services and it will be targeted at people who are unemployed for over a year."
This is one of a number of measures in place to assist unemployed people and support job creation. Others include:
- a new temporary Skills Development and Internship Programme to be managed by FÁS Employment Services and supporting up to 5,000 places;
- the €500 million Innovation Fund-Ireland which will support enterprise development and job creation by drawing top venture capitalists to Ireland;
- the extension of the closing date for new applications for the Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive scheme to the end of 2011. This scheme exempts the employer from paying their share of PRSI for 12 months and is a direct stimulus for the economy by saving employers money and shifting the balance in favour of job creation; and
- the Government's five-year integrated plan for trade, tourism and investment aimed at generating 300,000 jobs and boosting exports by one third.
"The Live Register also includes those who have part time employment and receive a payment from my Department for part of the week. These account for just over 68,100 people on the Live Register. The number of people on the Register who receive a jobseeker's payment for a full week is 287,816."
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