Earlier this year we reported that the Irish unemployment rate was hovering around 4.6%, well now it has increased even more and has hit a 4 year high. Currently the rate stands at 4.8%, which was announced by the Central Statistics Office today, the report said the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has risen by 9,000 this year to 164,700, among them about 18,500 people who are working part-time or in casual jobs. They noted that Ireland’s unemployment rate has been gradually building since its recent low point of 4.2 percent, reached in October 2006. The last time figures were so high was in July 2003, but economists expect that the current trend will continue and is predicted to reach 5.5% in 2008. The main reason for the high rate is due to the low public confidence in the Irish economy. Alan McQuaid of Bloxham Stockbrokers, said the air of pessimism was unjustified, and that growth in the economy next year is predicted.
The current average European unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, and Ireland is still well below countries like Germany.