Thursday, 7 November 2013
Live Register for Cork has fallen beneath 39,000 for the first time since April 2009.
The Live Register figures for October 2013 show that the for the first time since April 2009 the number of people on the Register in Cork has fallen below 39,000. In October 38,449 people were on the register in Cork, while this figure is still too high it represents a fall of 19.6%, or over 9,000, from a peak of almost 48,000 in July 2010.
This reduction in the number of people on the Live Register is also evident in Carrigaline and in Cork City. In Carrigaline although the figure is still 2,100 it is at its lowest since May 2009 and down by 22% from a peak of 2,704 in July 2010. Similarly Cork City is showing a reduction in the Live Register. Again for the first time since May 2009 it is at its lowest. In the city there are 16,540 people on the Live Register down 22% from a July 2011 peak of 21,312.
This Government has developed a range of programmes designed to help people retrain and re-enter a changing workforce. On the educational front Springboard and Momentum courses help people who are on the Live Register to retrain for areas where employers have work opportunities on offer. The Job Plus scheme provides an incentive for employers to take on someone who has been out of work for more than 12 months.
Recent changes to Jobseeker’s Benefit and Allowance now make it easier for people to take up temporary work and short-term training courses. Claims can now be suspended for up to eight weeks to allow people to take up these opportunities and will be reinstated without delay when the work or training finishes. This is a very significant change and will be particularly helpful for those looking to take up temporary work opportunities over the Christmas period.
Over the last five years or six years the difficulties of unemployment have visited almost every family. This has caused much distress and financial hardship for all of those affected. After all of these difficulties it is a relief to see the numbers of people on the Live Register decreasing for each of the last 16 months. I hope that this improvement will be reflected in improved circumstances across the many homes that have been affected.