Number of people who are out of work in Limerick City is ‘unacceptably high’

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The Dole Que in Limerick on Tuesday. Pic. Brian Arthur/Press 22.THE number of people on the Live Register in Limerick is still “unacceptably high”, according to Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan.

He was commenting on figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showing an increase of 421 in the number of people on the Live Register in the city since May. Data from the CSO also indicates an increase of nearly 100 young people in the city under the age of 25 signing on last month, rising from 1,933 in May to 2,030 in June.

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Cllr Quinlivan believes that Limerick is not creating the jobs needed and he also said the EU-wide Youth Guarantee Plan needs to be reviewed immediately if it is to reach any of its goals. The scheme promises to make ‘offers’ to around 30,000 young Irish people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment this year.

“The number of people on the Live Register is still unacceptably high. Figures from the Department of Social Protection also shows a huge number of long-term unemployed young people have been on the Live Register for more than a year,” he said.

He believes the increase in the jobless figures reflects a lack of immediate opportunities or options for young people. The Youth Guarantee Plan is aimed at providing young people under the age of 25 with a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a short time of becoming unemployed. However, he claims many young people haven’t heard of it.

“Many young people I’ve been in touch with recently haven’t even heard about the Youth Guarantee Plan, never mind being up to date on how they should go about trying to avail of a placement,” he claimed.

“Limerick city is particularly suffering from a severe lack of jobs. Youth unemployment figures are climbing in both the city and the county. There is not the sense of urgency from our local ministers that the unemployment and emigration crisis demands. Indeed if it were not for schemes such as JobBridge and record emigration levels, the unemployment rate would be way higher,” he concluded.

In response, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection said that nationally, the seasonally-adjusted figure for young people on the Live Register fell by 1,300 in June (although the unadjusted figure rose slightly for reasons principally related to the end of the school/college year). This continues an almost uninterrupted series of monthly falls over the last two years.”

“The increase quoted for Limerick in June also relates to the effects of seasonal factors. In fact, the number of young people on the register in Limerick continues to fall year-on-year. The June figure is down by 7 per cent on June last year, and by 32 per cent since June 2011.

“The fall since 2011 has been slightly greater in Limerick than the fall of 29 per cent nationally over the same period,” the spokeswoman added.