29 April 2009

Unemployment Figure now close to 400,000

New figures from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the numbers on the Live Register (of unemployed people) rose sharply again this month.

The headline figure for April 2009 stands now at 384,448, an increase of just over 13,000 from March, and almost double the figure for the same month last year.

The seasonally adjusted figure rose by 15,900 to 388,600 in April. The increase is made up of 9,300 men and 6,600 women.

But things in Ireland are bound to get a lot worse (before they might - hopefully - get better again).

The latest report from Dublin's Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) forecasts the loss of a further 300,000 jobs in Ireland before the end of next year. The ESRI also expects that the rate of unemployment will average 17% in 2010, a rate already reached now in Spain.

In its most downbeat economic assessment ever, the ESRI also expects that by the end of next year living standards in Ireland will be 15% lower than in 2007.

The ESRI report also predicts that our economic output will shrink by 9.2% this year. This contraction in the economy is significantly bigger than the government assumed in the 2009 Budget.
The report forecasts that the government will lose an additional € 1.3 billion in tax receipts this year.

The ESRI says it is fearful that any further increase in income taxes will make it even harder for employers to achieve wage cuts, which it says are vital to restoring the overall competitiveness of our economy.

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