Good news on the jobs front. New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number of people in unemployment has fallen. According to the CSO, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April fell to 8.4%, down from 8.6% in March. This is significantly lower than the rate of 9.7% in April last year, and the lowest since November 2008, when the figure stood at 8.1%.
Unemployment falls as Irish economy grows
The figures reflect growth in the Irish economy. Ireland is the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone, and on average, the unemployment rate across the economic bloc is over 10%.
The number of Irish people without work in April this year stood at 183,700. This is down 25,700 on April 2015.
There are some gender differences in the figures. The seasonally adjusted joblessness rate for men was 9.9% in April, down from 11% the same time last year. Unemployment among women was 6.6%, down from 8.1% in April 2015.
Unemployment is significantly higher among young people. The seasonally adjusted rate for youth unemployment fell to 18% in April, more than a percentage down from 19.1% in March of this year.
Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton welcomed the news, but noted that Ireland still faces difficult challenges in the coming months.
“There are many significant risks to our continuing recovery – including Brexit, conflict and instability in the Middle East, oil prices, slowdown in China – and yesterday we saw the EU Commission downgrade its forecasts for EU growth. All of this highlights the need to continue making changes in the areas over which we have control – in particular, to do everything possible to improve our international competitiveness,” he said.