The latest live register figures have been released and while there has been an annual 5 percent drop in the numbers signing on locally, unemployment still remains something of a blight throughout the county.
The March figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that 8,403 people signed on in Laois during the month, down 448 from the March 2013 figure of 8,851.
This represents close to a 5.1 percent decrease in the number on the Laois live register in the last 12 months.
Breaking last month’s total down across the county, 4,225 people signed on in Portlaoise during March, 2,596 men and 1,629 women. This is down both from the start of year figure, when there were 4,398 recorded in January (2,718 men and 1,680 women), and from the March 2013 figure, when there 4,366 people recorded (2,786 men and 1,580 women).
The numbers recorded at the county’s other Social Welfare offices correspond to this slight dip.
In Portarlington, there were 3,133 people signing on in March, 1,949 men and 1,184 women. This is down from January of this year’s figure of 3,214 (2,009 men and 1,205 women), and the March 2013 figure of 3,370 (2,115 men and 1,255 women).
In Rathdowney, 1,045 people signed on in March (673 men and 372 women), which is down from January’s 1,083 (696 men and 387 women) and March 2013’s 1,115 (726 men and 389 women).