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A substantial reduction in the numbers signing on in Social Welfare Offices in East Cork over the past year has been welcomed by Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton. Offices in Cobh, Midleton and Youghal have all recorded a drop in people of all ages signing on.

“It is very encouraging to look at the figures for the three locations in East. There has been a reduction of unemployment of 12.2% on average for people over 25 years and a reduction of 22.2% for people aged under 25 years. Figures show that, in total, there was an overall drop of 13.6% on the live register or 767 fewer people signing on in Cobh, Midleton and Youghal in April 2015 than there were in April 2014.

Location                         % Change
Cobh (over 25 yrs)             -11.0%
Cobh (under 25 yrs)          -11.1%
Midleton (over 25 yrs)      -11.9%
Midleton (under 25 yrs)   -31.2%
Youghal (over 25 yrs)        -13.7%
Youghal (under 25 yrs)     -24.4%
Total:                                 -13.6%

“I am pleased that the East Cork area has experienced such an improvement in the past year, which is in line with the rest of the country. The national unemployment rate has now dropped to below 10% for the first time since the economic downturn, with the most recent figures for April 2015 at 9.8%. In fact, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published at the end of May show that almost 105,000 jobs have been created in Ireland since the Government launched its Action Plan for Jobs in 2012.

“EU wide figures from Eurostat, show that while unemployment in Ireland remains higher than some EU countries, we have recorded the largest drop in unemployment levels in the past year from March 2014 with unemployment dropping from 12% to 9.8%. I believe that this is a clear indication that Government policy to place job creation at the centre of our economic recovery strategy has been effective.

“I would hope that this downward trend in people being unemployed will continue as it is not just good for those who have returned to work but also their families. Creating jobs has been the number one priority for Fine Gael in Government and we aim to have the country return to full employment by 2018.