Irish unemployment falls to 2008 levels

The Government is getting close to its target rate...

The Social Protection Minister has welcomed Ireland's latest fall in unemployment, which reached its lowest level since 2008 in March.

Figures released today show the number of people out of work dropped to 6.4% last month.

That's almost a 2% decrease when compared to the same period 12 months ago.

“These are further encouraging figures and show that the recovery continues and people are returning to employment. It’s particularly encouraging that we are already closing in on our 2020 target of 6% unemployment," Social Protection Minister, Leo Varadkar commented.

"However, we need to continue our strong focus on long-term unemployment which is why my Department will publish a new Strategy for Jobless Households later this year," he continued.

The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed was 141,400 last month.

Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted unemployment among people aged between 15 and 24 was 13.9% - that's down from 14.5% in February.

These are the measures currently being undertaken by the Department of Social Protection to reduce unemployment:

  • More intensive one-to-one engagements with jobseekers
  • Making work pay through sustainable wage increases, effective tax reductions and new social insurance measures like paternity benefit
  • 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
  • Developing initiatives across the whole of Government in education, training, housing and childcare