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Irish jobless rate rises again

The number of unemployment claims in Ireland rose again in May. The "seasonally adjusted live register" rose by 2,600 over the month, bringing the total number of people signing on for unemployment benefit to more than 443,000.

The increase pushed the standardized unemployment rate slightly higher in May to 14.8 percent, compared with 14.7 percent in April. The rate is currently 1.6 per cent higher than that recorded in May 2010.

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According to reports, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said the increase in the register was an indication that austerity measures had failed.

ICTU economic advisor Paul Sweeney said the rise was a direct consequence of official policy.

"Deflation is simply not working and is leading directly to job losses. We have seen domestic demand crash by over 25 percent in less than three years. That translates into thousands of job losses and thousands of families in very difficult circumstances.

"This is not the route to recovery, but leads precisely in the opposite direction. It is time that the authorities at the EU level and here at home stopped taking counsel from the advocates of austerity. It doesn't work," said Sweeney while adding that the latest jobless figures were "proof positive" of his assessment.