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Burton welcomes continuing Live Register reduction

Register below 400,000 for first time since May 2009

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton today welcomed the continuing reduction in the Live Register, which has fallen beneath 400,000 for the first time in over four years. While stressing that there remained a long way to go in addressing the unemployment challenge, the Minister said it was a further sign that the economy was recovering and people were getting back to work.

There are now 396,512 people on the Live Register, 23,000 fewer than this time last year and almost 34,000 fewer than in October 2011. This is a very welcome turnaround considering that the Register was firmly on an upward trajectory towards 500,000 when this Government took office.

Tackling unemployment is the Government’s number one priority through Pathways to Work and the Action Plan for Jobs, and today’s figures are proof that those strategies are getting people back to work.

There are still far too many people on the Live Register, and unemployment will remain the most pressing challenge for the foreseeable future, but we are moving decisively in the right direction.

Seasonal factors which affect the Register may see a temporary increase in the December-January period. However, the overall pattern of a sustained long-term reduction in the Register is now clear.