Further significant drop in joblessness as unemployment falls to 6.2% - Varadkar

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Unemployment almost certain to fall below 6% before end of 2017

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has welcomed another significant drop in the number of people unemployed, which fell by 4,800 people in a single month, and by 47,300 in a year.

The overall unemployment rate for last month fell to 6.2%, down from 6.4% in March, and a drop of 2.2% percentage points in 12 months from the level of 8.4% in April 2016.

“This is a strong result for April and shows that people are returning to work in significant numbers. Large numbers of people are making solid preparations to return to work through re-training or upskilling and are re-entering the workforce. If this trend continues, it’s very likely that the unemployment rate will be well below 6% before the end of the year thus achieving our target to reduce unemployment to between 5-6% by the end of the decade.  I am considering more ambitious targets with my Government colleagues,” Minister Varadkar said.

“We must maintain a relentless focus on driving down unemployment. For this reason, the Government will publish a strategy for Jobless Households in the next few weeks, and work continues on a Working Family Payment to support families into the workplace. A review of the effectiveness of the JobsPlus scheme will also be published in the near future.”

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2017 was 6.2%, down from 6.4% in March 2017 and down from 8.4% in April 2016. The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 135,800 in April 2017, down from 140,600 when compared to the March 2017 figure and a decrease of 47,300 when compared to April 2016.
Other measures being pursued by the Department include:

  • developing initiatives across the whole of Government in education, training, housing and childcare;
  • making work pay through sustainable wage increases, effective tax reductions and new social insurance measures like paternity benefit;
  • more intensive one-to-one engagements with jobseekers;
  • supporting more people to enter self-employment and set up their own business or practice;
  • using initiatives like JobsWeek to match jobseekers with employers;
  • promoting financial supports like JobsPlus and the Wage Subsidy Scheme.



Last modified:03/05/2017