Labour councillor Eamon Tuffy

Unemployment in Lucan dropped by just two people in 2012, new figures have shown.

The figures, presented at the meeting of South Dublin County Council this week, show that up until January 25 this year, just two people less were claiming Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseekers Benefit from January 27, 2012.

Overall, as of January this year 3,642 people were signing on, compared to 3,644 last year. The figure represents just a 0.05% drop on last January’s and Labour councillor Eamon Tuffy, who tabled the question, said that they showed more needed to be done for unemployed people in Lucan.

“The library does a great job in trying to fill the gap that is there in terms of services, but there is only so much that they can do,” said Cllr Tuffy, who said that he asked the question because of a lack of specific data in the Central Statistics Office monthly figures.

Those figures show only how many people sign on at the Clondalkin social welfare office, but do not break them down by area. That may be a thing of the past soon, with the Office of Public Works (OPW) recently confirming that a social welfare office will be located in Lucan as soon as a suitable site is located.

The OPW has placed advertisements for suitable sites or properties in the Lucan and Adamstown areas in national newspapers in March and welcomed contact from landlords and developers with available portfolios.

But, Councillor Tuffy says there must be more than just a social welfare office.

“When you look at what is available in Clondalkin, there is a number of jobs initiatives and jobs clubs, the like of which are not available in Lucan. We need to start offering things like training programmes to out of work people.”

Councillor Tuffy said that the figures being unchanged reflected a national trend whereby job creation was being matched by job losses, but that he would hope that recent investments like the €22 million land purchase at Grange Castle by Microsoft would help those on the Live Register.

Councillor Tuffy also asked the council to pay particular attention to those under the age of 25, with the figures showing that Lucan is doing better than other towns in the county, with just 14% of unemployed people in the county under 25.

That compares to 22% in Clondalkin, 19% in Tallaght and 18% in Palmerstown. Only Rathfarnham, at 12% compares better.

Palmerstown was included in the figures, but many residents of Palmerstown are dealt with in Ballyfermot social welfare office. The available figures show that six less people were signing on in the period, with 708 people on the Live Register in 2013.