Heading in the right direction as local jobless figures reach six-year low

Unemployment figures in Athlone have reached a six-year low, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

Some 3,315 people signed on the Live Register in Athlone in October, down 27 per cent from the highest recorded figure of 4,518 back in August 2012.

CSO figures for October also show that the number of people on the Live Register has dropped by more than 19 per cent in Westmeath since the launch of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in February 2012.

Fine Gael TD for Longford-Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that the consistent reductions in the Westmeath unemployment figures will help to keep the economic recovery going.

Ms McFadden said: “When this Government took office, we promised to fix the public finances, restore growth in the economy, and get people back to work. The task now is to finish the job and keep that recovery going. Crucial to this is continued job creation and the consistent decreases in unemployment since 2012 are certainly helping to keep the economic recovery going in Westmeath.

“Replicating this all over the country via our Regional Action Plans for Jobs is how this Government will achieve its plan to see all the jobs lost during the economic crisis replaced by 2018.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate for October is 9.3 per cent, down from 9.4 per cent in September. There are now 24,900 more people at work than there were this time last year, with the monthly drop in the number of unemployed standing at 1,900.

The Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD is welcoming the continuing fall in the rate of unemployment: “These are the lowest unemployment figures we have had in more than six years,” he said. While I acknowledge that there is much more to be done to meet the Government’s ambitious target of full employment by 2018, we are certainly on the right track.”

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