Eeek… Looks like the party is over. Not only is Ireland throwing rather large and inconvenient spanner into the EU works, but the unemployment total has risen by a third since the start of the year:
When the figures are adjusted to take account of seasonal employment patterns the number of people signing on for unemployment payments and social welfare credits now stands at 207,300. This is the highest level since January 1999. The figures also show that the numbers on the dole went up by 7,600 during May alone. This was broadly in line with the average monthly rise in unemployment so far this year which was 7,000.
Today’s figures mean that the number of people signing on the dole has gone up by almost a third in just one year. The Live Register total now represents an unemployment rate of 5.4% of the labour force.