Wednesday 1 July 2009

2nd UPDATE:Irish Jobless Jun Live Register +2.8%/Mo To 413,500

2nd UPDATE:Irish Jobless Jun Live Register +2.8%/Mo To 413,500

(Adds PM's comment on official unemployment)

DUBLIN (Dow Jones)--Irish unemployment grew at a slightly slower pace in June, to a total of 413,500, as the live register for benefit payments rose again, bringing unemployment in the country to 11.9% in June up from a revised 11.6% in May and 5.9% in June 2008.

With the rapid slowdown in the construction industry, the number of people signing on to the live register on an unadjusted basis rose 2.8% on the month to 413,500 in June after rising 3.5% in May, the central statistics office said.

The live register includes part-time workers and casual workers entitled to unemployment assistance or benefits, like some teachers who take the summer off. Official unemployment is measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen told the Irish Parliament that the rate of unemployment growth has eased somewhat, but warned that the official rate of unemployment will rise to over 15% by the end of this year up from 10.2% for the first quarter of 2009, and will likely rise again next year.

Most economists see it hitting 17% by the end of 2010.

Unemployment on the live register amongst immigrants from Eastern Europe is now at 20%, double the rate for Irish nationals, and for every Eastern European worker who has joined the dole queue over the last 12 months, almost two have emigrated.

"It's encouraging to note that the pace of decline in the live register has moderated in each of the last six months from a high of over 33,000 in January," said Chief Economist Brian Devine of NCB Stockbrokers.

"Once again this is further evidence that the worst of the declines are behind us but that with such a sharp rise in unemployment and taxes the recovery in Ireland is going to lag someway behind the global recovery," he added.

-By Quentin Fottrell, Dow Jones Newswires; +353-1-676-2189;

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 01, 2009 07:40 ET (11:40 GMT)

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