The number of people signing on the Live Register in Westmeath has dropped by 15 per cent in the last year.
This good news for Westmeath comes as the CSO revealed that the Live Register has fallen below 250,000 nationally for the first time in nine years (September, 2008 ). This figure represents a year on year decrease of 14.6 per cent.
The news has been warmly welcomed by Fine Gael deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Peter Burke, who said: “It is very positive to see that the number of people signing on the Live Register in Westmeath has reduced by 15 per cent in the last year. In the last 12 months, some 1,115 more people across Westmeath have full-time employment which is very positive news for them, for their families and the wider community.
“Furthermore, since Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs was launched in February, 2012, the Westmeath Live Register has decreased locally by 37 per cent. This is 3,814 people in this county who are back making a living, to the benefit of themselves, their families and the local communities in which they live. We can see clearly that the Action Plan for Jobs is working. Since 2012, the number of jobs in the economy has risen by over 230,000, with over two million people now at work in Ireland.
“What’s also very promising is the improvement in the long-term unemployment figure, which at the end of September, 2017, stood at 105,339 people nationally. That is a significant drop of 19.3 per cent year on year compared to September, 2016, and a decrease of 32.8 per cent compared to September two years ago.
“Fine Gael is working to build a Republic of opportunity which will see everyone have a fair chance to reach their full potential. We envisage a society where there is equality of opportunity for everyone, and a second chance if they need one. Job Seekers Benefit and Allowance payments are a necessary support to those who need them, but of course we want to ensure that everyone who can work will have the opportunity to do so.
“We are moving towards full employment and we will ensure that all parts of Ireland can share in our prosperity and economic growth, including here in Westmeath.”