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Unemployment takes a dip in the county

UNEMPLOYMENT in Clare showed a drop in the month of March, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.
There were 10,633 people signing on in the county last month, which was down from 10,865 in February. There were almost 1,000 extra people signing on in March of this year compared to 1,000 the previous year.
The number signing on declined in each of the centres in Clare, Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush and Tulla, although the change in Tulla was very minimal, going from 1,504 down to 1,500.
In Ennis the number dropped from 6,165 to 6,039; in Ennistymon it fell from 1,709 to 1,649 and in Kilrush from 1,487 to 1,445.
Clare TD Timmy Dooley said that it was likely to be some time before a more significant improvement was needed.
“In their quarterly reviews the ESRI and the Central Bank have indicated that one thing that is likely to impact on the Live Register figures is that we are likely to see people returning to their home countries from Ireland, which will have a stabilising effect.
“Overall there is a drop and clearly that’s welcome but we have to be careful that we don’t over-interpret it. It does take into account people going home and we have to recognise that there is more work available in the spring and summer. It is positive but there is a long way to go.”
Deputy Dooley said that Ireland was unlikely to revisit the very high levels of emigration seen in the 80s and early 90s, as countries such as the US and the UK are also in the economic doldrums.
However, Fine Gael’s Pat Breen said that there is evidence of young people leaving the country, as they are as so dispirited.
“There is a slight drop but I would have to say one factor in that is that a lot of young are so disillusioned that they have emigrated. A lot of them see no other option, with 10,000 people out of work in the county. It’s shameful to see well-educated graduates leaving.”
He said that Australia and Canada seem to be the destinations of choice for young people leaving Ireland and that his office had on occasion attempted to provide assistance with visas.

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