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August 8, 2009

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Home » Business » Economy

Irish jobless sits at 14-year high of 12.2%

UNEMPLOYMENT in recession-hit Ireland has risen to a 14-year high of 12.2 percent, the Central Statistics Office reported yesterday.

The rise from June's rate of 11.9 percent means the number of people out of work is reaching a new record high each month in Ireland. When the unemployment rate last stood at 12.2 percent in April 1995, Ireland's work force and jobs market were much smaller.

The report said the number of job-hunters signing up for welfare benefits has surged 83 percent over the past year to an unprecedented 435,735 in this country with a population of 4.2 million.

The Irish economy has suffered a spectacular fall over the past year as the global credit crunch burst Ireland's long-galloping property market and saddled the nation's banks with 90 billion euros (US$135 billion) in defaulting loans to developers and construction firms.

Scores of office blocks and apartment developments now lie empty as the number of residential mortgage-holders trapped in negative equity - holding debts greater than the value of their homes - increases above 150,000.


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