THERE was a substantial reduction in the number of people signing on in Clare during September.
There were just shy of 9,000 people (8,983) on the live register in Clare during September, compared to 9,613 in August. The drop of 630 equates to a reduction of 6.5%.
Most of the people on the live register in Clare are attached to the Social Welfare Office in Ennis and unsurprisingly that’s where most of the reduction was concentrated.
While there were 5,535 signing on in Ennis in August, this was down to 5,094 in September, a drop of 441.
This was the biggest drop at any of the four Social Welfare Offices in Clare, while the figures also improved at the other three.
In Ennistymon it went from 1,369 in August to 1,318 last month. At Kilrush it dropped from 1,310 to 1,279 and in Tulla from 1,399 to 1,292.
The number of under 25s signing on in Clare dropped by 154, from 1,578 to 1,424. In this category the majority of the reduction was also concentrated on Ennis, with the numbers there going from 915 to 808. There were only single figure drops in Ennistymon and Kilrush, while in Tulla the numbers went from 206 to 174.
Sixty per cent of those signing on in Clare are male, with 5,386 men to 3,597 women.
Ennis Chamber CEO Rita McInerney said that while there may be a little bit of stability emerging, the fact that people begin college courses in September is likely to have been a significant factor in the reduction in the numbers signing on. “I think there is generally a bit of a steadiness, I suppose. Things are,
I think, very, very slowly improving. It’s very difficult out there but there is a slow improvement. The numbers signing on in September are influenced by people going back to college, that’s part of it, and a lot of people are staying in education because there’s a lack of jobs.”
She also said that moving the budget forward to October is a positive. “A lot of people are waiting to see what will happen with the budget. It is positive that the budget is happening in October because it does give people time to adjust before the Christmas period and to allow them to plan ahead for the coming year. The implementation of the budget probably won’t take effect until January and people will be well aware of the changes. Some of them might be immediate but a lot mightn’t take effect until January which will give people more time to adjust.”