The live register figures for May show that there has been a drop of almost 4.5 percent in the number of people signing on at the Social Welfare Offices in Laois within the last 12 months.
The latest figures obtained by the Leinster Express from the Central Statistics Office reveal that last month, a total of 8,489 people signed on at the offices in Portlaoise, Portarlington and Rathdowney, with men accounting for over 60 percent of the number (5,204) to just under 40 percent women (3,285).
Breaking this down across the county, there were 4,267 signing on in Portlaoise (2,612 men, and 1,655 women); 3,143 signing on in Portarlington (1,912 men, and 1,231 women); and in Rathdowney there was 1,079 (680 men, and 399 women).
The total of 8,489 was 397 less than the figure recorded in May 2013, when there were 8,886 signing on at the three offices in Laois (4,358 in Portlaoise, 3,363 in Portarlington, and 1,165 in Rathdowney).
The May figure also indicates a gradual decrease from the number of people on the register at the start of the year. In January, there were 8,695 signing on in Laois (4,398 in Portlaoise, 3,214 in Portarlington, and 1,083 in Rathdowney), meaning a drop of 206 up to May.
However, May’s total did represent a slight increase of 13 people from the number recorded in April this year, when there were 8,476 on the register.
A closer look reveals that between April and May, two more people joined the numbers signing on in Portlaoise, Portarlington went down seven, and Rathdowney went up by 18.