While the live register figures for August indicate a slight drop from July, there is currently almost 300 percent more people signing on in Laois than was recorded back in the boom year of 2004.
While there is much talk about economic recovery, the Central Statistics Office reveal that there were 8,592 people signing on in August, almost four times the 2,244 on the list in August, 2004.
Of the latest number, there were 4,259 signing on in Portlaoise (2,549 men, and 1,710 women), 3,180 in Portarlington (1,874 men, and 1,306 women), and 1,153 people in Rathdowney (697 men, and 456 women). This breaks down to 5,120 men and 3,472 women signing on in the county.
The August figure is slightly down from July, when there were 8,724 people signing on in Laois, 5,176 men and 3,548 women. This broke down as 4,363 in Portlaoise (2,587 men, and 1,776 women in Portlaoise), 3,211 in Portarlington (1,891 men, and 1,320 women), and in Rathdowney there were 1,150 (698 men, and 452 women).
This also shows a decrease from the August 2013 total of 9,292, when there were 4,588 signing on in Portlaoise (2,787 men, and 1,801 women), 3,526 in Portarlington (2,167 men, and 1359 women), and 1,178 in Rathdowney 1,178 (740 men, and 438 women).
However, the current figures stand in stark contrast to those recorded during the Celtic Tiger year of 2004, when there were only 2,244 people signing on in Laois. There also wasn’t nearly the gender imbalance back then as there is now, with the total nearly half and half men and women (1,131 men, to 1,113 women).