THE number of people on the Live Register in Laois continues to rise in the first quarter of 2013, with nearly twice as many men as women signing on across the county.
Figures obtained by the Leinster Express from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that by the end of February, there were 8,858 people signing on in Laois, 5,666 men and 3,192. This means there are 2,474 more men signing on than women, or a whopping 43.6 per cent.
The February figure of 8,858 represents an increase of 32 people from January, when there were 8,826 on the register (5,676 men and 3,150 women).
The figure for February is up by 133 from the same month in 2012, when there were 8,725 people on the register (5,756 men and 2,969 women). This means that the total has risen by approximately 1.5 per cent in the last 12 months.
The breakdown of the 8,858 people on the register in February is 4,194 in Portlaoise (2,789 men and 1,579 women), 3,377 in Portarlington (2,145 men and 1,236 women), and 1,154 in Rathdowney (732 men and 377 women). Only Rathdowney has witnessed a decrease in numbers since January (down from 1,138 to 1,109), although the number is still up on 2012.