While the live register figures for September indicate a drop of almost six percent from August, there is currently close to 300 percent more people signing on in Laois than was recorded back in the boom year of 2004.
The latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that there were 8,086 people signing on at the county’s three Social Welfare offices in September, 4,887 men and 3,199 women. This is nearly four times the amount signing on as recorded back during one of the high points of the Celtic Tiger years, 2004, when there were just 2,080 people on the live register in Laois.
This September’s figure of 8,086 broke down as 4,010 people in Portlaoise (2,439 men and 1,571 women), 3,000 in Portarlington (1,787 men and 1,213 women), and 1,076 in Rathdowney (661 men and 415 women).
The September figure shows there were 506 fewer people (or -5.8 percent) signing on than in August, when there were 8,592 on the register in Laois, 5,120 men and 3,472 women. Of these, 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).
September’s 8,086 is also down 8.7 percent from the same period last year. In September 2013, there were 8,857 people signing on in Laois, 5,512 men and 3,345 women. This broke down as 4,408 signing on Portlaoise, 3,366 in Portarlington, and 1,083 in Rathdowney.
However, all of this contrasts sharply with the figures for the Celtic Tiger year of 2004.
In September of that year, the CSO reported that there were 2,080 people signing on in Laois, 1,098 men and 982 women. This means that the current figure is 289 percent higher than it was in 2004, an indication that the country still has some way to go towards economic recovery.