THE LATEST LIVE REGISTER figures published this morning show that unemployment in Ireland fell slightly in March.
Figures published this morning by the Central Statistics Office show that 434,800 people were signing on last month, a figure down by 3,000 on the previous month when seasonally adjusted.
When seasonal adjustments were removed, the number signing on fell by over 5,300. Unemployment had stood at 14.4 per cent in February.
The numbers on the live register now are statistically unchanged from last year, while the unemployment rate is 0.1 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago.
Most of the drop in March came from males, with 2,000 fewer men signing on last month than in February. On an annual basis, there are now almost 10,000 fewer men signing on, while the number of female claimants has risen by just under 3,000.
The number of under-25s signing on increased by 1,264 (0.4 per cent) in the 12 months to March 2012; under-25s now account for 16.8 per cent of the people on the register, compared to 19.5 per cent two years ago.
The CSO said the number of under-25s had fallen on an annual basis every month since July 2010. Emigration is the most likely explanation for the sustained fall in young people signing on.
184,465 of the claimants on the live register are classed as long-term claimants, accounting for some 42.5 per cent of the total number signing on. The number of female long-term claimants is up by 10.7 per cent in the last 12 months, while the number of males on the register on a long-term basis rose by 8.3 per cent.
The register now includes 88,716 casual and part-time workers, accounting for 20.4 per cent of the entire register, compared to 19.5 per cent 12 months ago.