17% fewer on the live register in Cork compared to this time last year

There are 4,140 fewer people on the live register here in Cork compared to this time last year, a Fine Gael Senator  has said.

This comes as the monthly unemployment in Ireland fell below 6% for the first time since May 2008.

Senator Jerry Buttimer said: “The number of people on the Live Register in Cork has fallen by 4,240 or 17% since this time last year.

“Since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in February 2012, the number signing on has decreased locally by 55% or 24,265 people.

“The unemployment rate falling below 6% cannot be taken for granted. This has taken immense work and effort by all across the country. With Fine Gael’s policies and prudent management of the country since taking over after the financial crash, it is imperative that we continue on this path to help our communities and families and ensure a prosperous future.

“Statistics can seem meaningless but this has a real impact on communities all around the country. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can provide the services needed to improve people’s lives.

“This is also great news for communities across the county, as every job created has a positive knock on effect for local businesses and services.

“According to the European Commission Spring Economic Forecast, the Irish economy is expected to remain robust, supported by positive labour market trends and investment in construction. The government deficit is moving closer to balance but risks to the fiscal outlook remain.

“Prudent economic management is a core tenant of Fine Gael; we will continue to carefully manage our economy to the benefits of our growth can be felt throughout society, in communities up and down the country,” Jerry Buttimer said.

Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection Regina Doherty said: “When Fine Gael came to power in February 2011, the country was on its knees, and unemployment was at 14.5%. In just seven short years, we have turned the economy around, and reduced the unemployment rate by more than half.

“My focus as Minister is to maintain focus on the unemployment figure, and through activation and other measures, find ways to reduce it. I have introduced measures to make work pay better for single parents, and give extra financial supports to families on low pay.

“I have introduced measures to incentivise employers to take on the long-term unemployed. We continue to tackle long-term unemployment through the Tús, JobPath, Gateway and CE schemes. We offer the Back-to-Work Enterprise allowance scheme and the Back-to-Education allowance. All of this is intended to ease more people back into the workforce.

“These figures mark a significant milestone as we restore economic health and dignity to thousands of families,” said Minister Doherty.