Taoiseach: After fall of 4,000 , Live Register numbers still 'much too high'02/05/2012 - 11:04:47
The Taoiseach has said dole queues are still too long, despite a reduction last month.
Official figures are due to be published by the CSO in the next few minutes.
But Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil that 4,000 fewer people signed on last month.
"We want as many people off the Live Register as possible and in gainful employment," he said.
"The (Live Register) figures for April this year stand at 430,000, which is much too high. It represents a decrease of over 4,000 in the month and a decrease of 9,500 in the year…The figure is much too high."
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises association (ISME), while welcoming the slight reduction in unemployment, called on the Government to address the uncompetitive business costs and generous social welfare benefits in the battle to maintain and create jobs in the SME sector.
"The slight reduction in the headline unemployment figures masks the true level of unemployment which is under-reported through increased emigration, increased participation on state training initiatives and a significant rise in individuals remaining in education," said ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding.
"The true picture in the jobs market is that well over half a million of our citizens are out of work."
Mr Fielding said the reality was that, after a year in power, the Government has promised a lot but delivered little.
"They must first realise that a complete overhaul of our competitiveness is where the real work has to be done," Mr Fielding said.
"The drive must be to reduce state costs while the private sector increases productivity. SME job creation will then follow."
Analysts said the Live Register data indicated marginal improvement in the labour market.
Chief economist at Davy Research Conall Mac Coille said however that the data need to be treated with caution given the potential for revisions.
"We cannot be sure of an improvement in the labour market until the Q1 National Household Survey," Mr Mac Coille said.
"That said, new registrations (inflows) fell to their lowest level since 2009, excluding August 2011.
"Similarly, net outflows in recent months and a levelling off in long-term claimants are tentative signs of a stabilising labour market."
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