Laois has recorded another yearly dip in the number of people signing on for social welfare, with the numbers on the live register down close to 13 percent in the past 12 months.
However, the recent figures still stand in stark comparison to the Celtic Tiger years, with three times as many people signing on now as there were a decade ago.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that there were 5,981 people signing on in Laois in October of this year, 3,435 men and 2,546 women.
Breaking these number down across the county, there were 3,070 signing on in Portlaoise (1,771 men and 1,299 women), 2,042 in Portarlington (1,166 men and 876 women), and 869 in Rathdowney (498 men and 371 women).
This latest figure is down 877, or almost 13 percent, from the same time last year, October 2015, when there were 6,858 signing on in Laois. This broke down as 3,466 in Portlaoise (2,064 men and 1,402 women), 2,458 in Portarlington (1,462 men and 996 women), and 934 in Rathdowney (545 men and 389 women).
However, the latest figure is a whopping 301 percent of what it was in the boom year of 2006, when there were just 1,984 people on the local live register in October, 1,081 men and 903 women. This broke down as 863 in Portlaoise, 786 in Portarlington, and 335 in Rathdowney.