Laois live register drops 15 percent in the year

Dole queue outside the Social Welfare Office, Portarlington. Photo: Michael Scully .

There has been a 15 percent drop in the numbers signing on for social welfare in Laois in the last 12 months, but the local live register figure is still almost 240 percent what it was a decade ago.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that there were 5,807 people signing on at the county’s three social welfare offices in June, 3,233 men and 2,574 women. This broke down to 2,917 in Portlaoise (1,642 men and 1,275 women), 2,092 in Portarlington (1,149 men and 943 women), and 798 in Rathdowney (442 men and 356 women).

This is down 1,032, or 15 percent, from June 2016, when there were 6,839 signing on in Laois, 3,905 men and 2,934 women. This broke down to 3,445 in Portlaoise (1,971 men and 1,474 women), 2,388 in Portarlington (1,342 men and 1,046 women), and 1,006 in Rathdowney (592 men and 414 women).

The figure for June is up slightly, 156 or 2.7percent, from the previous month, with 5,651 people signing on at the county’s three social welfare offices in May, 3,206 men and 2,445 women.

This broke down to 2,882 in Portlaoise (1,648 men and 1,234 women), 1,999 in Portarlington (1,128 men and 871 women), and 770 in Rathdowney (430 men and 340 women).

The June figure is much the same as that recorded at the start of the year, with 5,811 people signing on at Laois’ three Social Welfare offices in January, 3,346 men and 2,465 women.

As always, a glance back to the golden economic days of a decade throw up a stark contrast to the current figures, with the figure for June this year a whopping 239 percent what it was in 2007.

In June 2007, there were just 2,429 people on the local live register, 1,338 men and 1,091 women. This broke down to 1,052 in Portlaoise (580 men and 472 women), 969 in Portarlington (531 men and 438 women), and 408 in Rathdowney (227 men and 181 women).

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