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Burton welcomes Live Register figures showing unemployment has fallen for 19th month in a row

Urges employers to avail of JobsPlus wage subsidy scheme

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has today (5th February 2014) welcomed the Live Register figures for January, which show that unemployment on a seasonally adjusted basis has fallen for the 19th month in a row.

The Central Statistics Office figures show the Live Register fell by 7% in January when compared with the same month last year.

There are currently 399,630 on the Live Register, which is 29,766 fewer than in January 2013 and 39,959 fewer than in January 2012.

The standardised unemployment rate stands at 12.3%, down from 13.9% in January 2013 and 15% in January 2012. The unemployment rate peaked at 15.1% in February 2012.

Minister Burton said: “Through the Pathways to Work and Action Plan for Jobs strategies, we are making steady progress in reducing unemployment and getting people back to work, and in 2014, we want to accelerate that progress. Employers will be crucial to this.

“With the transformation of the Department from the passive benefits provider of old to an active and engaged employment service, we are perfectly positioned to help employers find the recruits they need. The skills mix of people on the Register is extremely high, and I would urge employers to avail of our Intreo service, through which we can help them find the right recruits for their business.

“In addition, through our wage subsidy scheme JobsPlus, we will provide cash grants to employers who hire persons who have been more than 12 months’ unemployed to help them with the costs of salary. JobsPlus is a very generous and important scheme and I would urge employers to avail of it to expand their business. Already JobsPlus has helped to create 1,286 new full-time jobs since its launch just a few short months ago.

“The Department will host a number of employer briefings around the country this year, where we will be making employers aware of the many supports we can provide to them. But I would also encourage employers to contact or call into our Intreo centres where dedicated staff will be on hand to inform them of the range of supports available.”

Through JobsPlus, regular cash payments are made to qualifying employers to offset wage costs where they hire jobseekers who have been on the Live Register for more than 12 months. There are two levels of payment:

· a payment of €7,500 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 12 but less than 24 months; and

· €10,000 over two years to the employer for each person recruited who has been unemployed for more than 24 months.

Intreo is the Department’s one-stop shop service for jobseekers and employers alike. At Intreo Centres nationwide, jobseekers can get income and employment supports in the one place for the first time. Similarly, employers can avail of Intreo’s job-matching service, which helps employers find the right recruits for their businesses. Employers can also get details of JobsPlus and a range of other employer supports.

Further information and advice on all aspects of the JobsPlus incentive is available by accessing, sending an email to or by calling (071) 9672535/9672583 or by visiting any of the Department’s offices.

Notes to Editors:

The Department of Social Protection is the lead Department on Pathways to Work, which complements the Government's Action Plan for Jobs. The Action Plan for Jobs, overseen by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, is designed to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, while Pathways to Work aims to ensure that as many as possible of those newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.