The Irish Central Statistics Office today published the latest unemployment figures for the Republic - and they make dire reading. The headline figure for June is 14.9%, up from 14.7% in May, and up from 14.4% a year earlier, in June 2011. The latest quarterly figures given are for the 1st Quarter of 2012, at 14.8%.
At page 14 of the CSO's press release we find a particularly striking (read shocking) table, which shows that unemployment has risen in Ireland without a pause over a perod of 5 years, if one compares each quarter with the same quarter (Q) in previous years.
The figures are as follows - and look at the vertical columns for the annual Q on Q comparisons:
Year Q1% Q2% Q3% Q4%
2007 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.8
2008 4.8 5.6 6.9 8.0
2009 10.1 11.9 12.5 12.8
2010 12.9 13.6 13.6 14.4
2011 14.1 14.3 14.6 14.5
To repeat, there is not a single Quarter which is equal to or better than the same period of the previous year.
No wonder Ireland is no longer showcased - as it was just a year ago - as the principal austerity pin-up country by the European Central Bank, European Commission or other commentators. The failure of European austerity policy in Ireland is simply too evident, too abject.