The latest available CSO figures for January 2019 record 3,409 people on the Live Register in County Carlow, its lowest level since early 2008. This represents a year-on-year decrease of almost 10% (372 people). Over the longer period, the Live Register in County Carlow has fallen by almost 50% in the five years since January 2014, which is in line with national trends.
This downward trend is welcome and reflects the impact of government policy to create more jobs and reduce unemployment.
The policies set out in the Action Plan for Jobs, which is led by my colleague, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, aim to create an environment in which businesses can succeed and create jobs. This successful policy includes a specific regional Action Plan for the South East Region, which takes in County Carlow, that has seen over 21,000 additional jobs created in the region in the last three years.
Over the coming years, we must make sure that our citizens are equipped with the skills to take up jobs of the future. Future Jobs Ireland 2019, a Government led initiative, will replace the Action Plan for Jobs to deliver policy reforms over the coming years to ensure that we can continue to build the innovative and competitive economy in a changing world of work.
Through the Pathways to Work Strategy, my Department ensures that as many new jobs as possible are filled by people taken from the live register.
I would like to point out to the Deputy that six staff are currently assigned to Activation Case Officer duties in the Intreo service across Carlow. Almost 1,900 customer engagements were scheduled in the year to January 2019 to give real assistance to jobseekers on their way back to employment. Case officers are also engaging with employers across County Carlow to help locate job opportunities for jobseekers.
This case officer capacity is supplemented by Turas Nua case officers provided under the JobPath service targeted at long-term unemployed customers. There have been over 1,800 referrals to Turas Nua since January 2018.
The policies being pursued by Government have been effective in reducing unemployment, both nationally and in County Carlow, and I am confident that they will continue to do so.