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Live Register edges below 300,000 in September

The Live Register fell below 300,000 for the first time since the end of 2008, new figures from the Central Statistics Office showed today.

The latest figures showed 286,490 people signed on, its lowest level in eight years, and a year on year decline of almost 14 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of people signing on was 290, 600, a monthly fall of 2.6 per cent.

“Three major milestones have now been passed, with the Live Register falling below 300,000, unemployment falling from its peak of 15 per cent to below 8 per cent, and the number of people employed exceeding two million, all for the first time in eight years,” Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said.

“However, as unemployment goes down it gets harder to keep bringing it down. As indicated earlier this week, my target is to bring unemployment down to between 5 per cent and 6 per cent and long-term unemployment to 2.5 per cent.”

The number of long term unemployed people on the register in September was 130,772, down by 26,082, or 16.6 per cent over the year. About 54 per cent of those signing on were short-term claimants, and just under 21 per cent of the Live Register was made up of casual or part-time workers.

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor said getting the register below 300,000 was a “major milestone”.

The last time the Live Register dipped below that figure was December 2008, when it stood at 293,100.