THE latest figure on unemployment show that women over the age of 25 have suffered the largest percentage increase in unemployment Kilkenny in the last month.
Figures released by the central statistic office for July show that the number of people joining the dole queues in Kilkenny has increased by 216 individuals between June and July. Of the 216 people who were forced to join the dole queue, women made up 175 of theses and women over the age of 25 accounted for 142. Over 65% of people joining the dole queue in Kilkenny were females over the age of 25.
The number of women claiming the dole in Kilkenny had remained stable around the 2,500 mark from January until May. In June there was an increase of 166 in the number of women joining the dole queue, this was followed by this months increase of 175.
Women still make up a much smaller proportion of social welfare recipients than men. There are currently 5,139 men claiming assistance compared to only 2,864 men. The number of men unemployed in Kilkenny had actually dropped according to the seasonally adjusted figure produced by the CSO. In January there were 5,103 men collecting social welfare assistance but this had fallen to 4,983 by May. It is not known whether emigration had a role to play in the reduction of the number of men on the live register between January and May. Since May the number of men on the live register in Kilkenny has returned to 5,139, increasing by 106 from May to June and 50 from June to July.
The collapse of the construction industry which has traditionally employed more men than women is to blame for the increase of skilled tradesmen on the dole. Other areas of the economy have lagged behind the construction industry in making people redundant, but as the recession continues more women are facing unemployment also.