Jobless figures take a plunge

by Gazette Reporter

THE number of Lucan and Clondalkin residents on the Live Register is at its lowest point in three years as new figures show the largest drop in those unemployed since the downturn.
September figures show the number of people “signing on” in the Clondalkin social welfare office has fallen by 20% since August 2011.
About 350 people left the live register in September in the area.
Up to 7,746 people were claiming job seekers benefit in the area last month compared to 8,096 in August.
At its peak in the last three years the Live Register in Clondalkin and Lucan was populated by 9,686 people.
A gender imbalance is clear when those on the register are analysed however.
The the figures show that most of those claiming job seekers in the area are men, with 4,895 signing on in September.
People under 25 accounted for less than a quarter of those who were registered as unemployed with 1,390 in this age group signing on.
In keeping with the trends apparent in the other figures more men under the age of 25 are on the Live Register.
About 569 young women compared with 821 young men are listed in the most up-to-date snapshot of the area.
Between July and August 1,000 people were transferred to the nearby Tallaght social welfare office, making it difficult to compare the latest figures with those at the peak of the boom.
In July 2010 unemployment in the area reached a staggering 10,526.
Clondalkin Labour deputy Robert Dowds welcomed the downward trend and acknowledged that the area had been “hit hard” during the recession and austerity years.
“The September figures for the Clondalkin social welfare office show that we are continuing to make progress on the jobs front.”
He added: “Coupled with the falling numbers of people emigrating, it shows that people are starting to get jobs.
“Clondalkin and Lucan were hit hard by the crash, and it is good to see that things are slowly getting better,” he added.
“The Government had to take some pretty horrible decisions to get our public finances in order, but I am delighted that the plan is working and that we are getting the country back on its feet again.”
Keeping up “momentum on job creation and getting more people back into work” were key priorities for his party as they continue their term in government according to Deputy Dowds.
However members of opposition party Sinn Fein were less optimistic about the numbers:
Local councillor Eoin O’Broin (SF), who sits on the South Dublin County Council, said: “I welcome any reduction in the numbers of people signing on. However it is not clear whether the 350 people who have left the Live Register over the last four weeks have secured employment, emigrated or had their benefits withdrawn.
“What we do know is that the rate of job creation in the economy is far too slow and that a huge number of people, particularly in Clondalkin and Lucan, remain without work,” he added.
“The Government has a real opportunity in next week’s budget to significantly increase investment in public and private sector job creation. If they are serious about getting people back to work then Budget 2015 will include a major stimulus package,” he said.

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