Although the numbers unemployed in the region have dropped substantially in the second quarter of the year, the Midlands remains one of the worst hit areas in the country for joblessness.
Official figures from the Central Statistics Office released yesterday (Thursday) show that the numbers unemployed in the Midlands (Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Longford) fell from roughly 22,000 during the first three months of the year to about 20,000 during the second quarter.
In contrast, the numbers in employment in the midlands rose to 109,700, from 106,900 in the first three months of the year.
The unemployment rate is now 15.4%, significantly down on the high point of 18.7% in the first quarter of 2012 and from 17.1% in the first quarter of 2013.
However, the levels of joblessness in this region continue to run in excess of the national average. Of the country’s eight regions, only the South East has a higher unemployment rate, at 18.3%, than the midlands. The national average is 13.9%, and the South West had the lowest unemployment rate at 11.9%.
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