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Irish unemployment levels dropped to 13.6% from 14.9% in June 2012, according to the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) Live Register report. The current number of unemployed people is estimated at 422,900.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said, “Official figures showed progress had been made tackling unemployment but more needs to be done. We have seen a fall in the percentage of unemployment from 15% down to 13.6% now. That’s progress but it’s not enough progress.”
Almost half the number of unemployed people, 197,508, are classified as long-term unemployed. The unemployment rate has improved steadily after hitting its peak of 15.1% in February 2012. However, unemployment remains well above the 4.5% level before the onset of the country’s financial banking crisis in 2007.
The Live Register includes part-time workers, season, and casual workers who are entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The Irish unemployment rate of 13.6% currently sits above both the Eurozone average of 12.2%, and the European Union average of 11%. Ireland currently has the 7th highest unemployment per capita across the European Union. The highest level of unemployment is in Spain with 26.9%, and the lowest current in Austria with 4.7%.