There was more good news for the Irish economy as the standardised unemployment rate fell to 10.6% in December and is predicted to fall below the 10% mark in 2015, according to the Central Statistics Office. On a seasonally adjusted basis, this monthly decrease equated to 2,500 less people on the Live Register, with twice as many males signing off the Live Register when compared to females.
This trend is consistent with the rest of 2014, where the number of male claimants fell by a phenomenal 12%, or 29,382 people and female claimants for the year decreased by 6.6%. This fall is indicative of a return to growth in the Construction sector, which is very welcome news, after six years of decline in this beleaguered sector. Ulster Banks Purchasing Managers Index predicts that this strong growth will continue in 2015, with most recent indices recording a reading of 63.1, whereas any reading over the 50 mark is interpreted as Growth.
On a regional basis the largest annual decreases in unemployment were witnessed in the South West region (-11.3%) whereas Dublin experienced an annual decrease of 10.3%