Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unemployment up by 70%

THE number of people unemployed leapt by almost 70pc at the end of last year, prompting calls for urgent action to stop the haemorrhaging of jobs.

The number of people out of work rose by almost 70,000 to 170,600 in the final quarter of 2008 with men bearing the brunt of the job losses by a factor of nearly four to one as construction work dried up, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The number of people working nationwide fell by 4pc, or almost 87,000, since the end of 2007 -- the largest decrease seen since the CSO first started its labour force survey in 1975.

The number of people working in Ireland is still over two million, but the unemployment rate has risen to 7.7pc and is now higher than the EU average.

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