The number of people on the live register in Laois has dropped by almost 5 per cent since August, but the total is still up from the same period in 2012.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that 8,857 people signed on in September, a drop of 435 (or 4.6 per cent) from August’s 9,292. As always, there were more men than women on the register, 5,512 men to 3,345 women.
Breaking the figures down across the county, there were 4,408 people signing on in Portlaoise (2,724 men and 1,684 women); 3,366 in Portarlington (2,102 men and 1,264 women); and 1,083 people in Rathdowney (686 men and 397 women). This means there are 180 less people on the register in Portlaoise since August (down from 4,588), 160 less in Portarlington (down from 3,526), and 95 less in Rathdowney (down from 1,178).
The figure for August was itself lower than that for July, when 9,393 were on the register. Typically, the figures drop after the summer when many students return to college.
The September total is still higher than last year, with 8,798 people on the register in September 2012 (4,275 in Portlaoise, 3,356 in Portarlington, and 1,167 in Rathdowney). The local figure has risen by just 0.7 per cent in the last 12 months.