The latest Live Register figures show a continuing reduction in unemployment. There were 358,672 people on the Register in January 2015, a decrease of 40,958, or 10.2%, compared with the same month last year.
The unemployment rate now stands at 10.5%, down from a crisis peak of 15.1% but over €i billion is to be invested in a number of measures ensure the downward trend continues.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, has made clear that the Government’s target is to reduce unemployment to below 10% by the end of 2015, and with this in mind, the following is a short but not exhaustive list of some of the key measures the Department of Social Protection is taking as part of the Pathways to Work and Action Plan for Jobs strategies to speed up the progress on the employment front and help jobseekers return to work.
The Action Plan for Jobs, overseen by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, is designed to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy, while Pathways to Work, overseen by the Department of Social Protection, aims to ensure that as many as possible of those newly created jobs go to people on the Live Register.
This year, the Department of Social Protection will engage over 80,000 jobseekers in direct supports through these measures, in addition to supports available to all jobseekers through its Intreo offices and other centres. In total, over €1 billion will be invested in these measures in 2015.