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Irish January jobless claims reach record high

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by Kay Mitchell
”Irish

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed that the number claiming unemployment benefit in Ireland reached the highest monthly level on record in January.

The CSO said 326,100 people made unemployment claims in January, up from 293,100 in December.

Meanwhile, the CSO said the unemployment rate increased to 9.2% in January compared with a rate of 8.3% in December.

January’s rate of 9.2% is the highest level in over a decade, according to the CSO.

Rossa White, chief economist at brokerage Davy, believes that Ireland’s unemployment rate could hit at least 13% by the end of 2010.

Last September, the CSO revealed that Ireland had become the first country in the euro zone to fall into recession, after the economy contracted for a second consecutive quarter.

However, Spain has the highest level of unemployment among the EU countries at 14.4%. Spain, like Ireland has been hit by rising unemployment and the financial crisis.

Last week, official figures from the Bank of Spain revealed that Spain’s economy entered recession for the first time since 1993.

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News posted: February 4, 2009

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