Irish unemployment tops 14 pct, hits 17-year high

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2011 10:16 AM
Irish unemployment tops 14 pct, hits 17-year high

Unemployment in Ireland has topped 14 percent for the first time since 1994, highlighting the dire financial challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

A Central Statistics Office report Tuesday has raised Ireland's previous unemployment calculations over several months. Analysts are blaming exceptionally harsh pre-Christmas weather for the surprisingly poor figures and warn further job losses are inevitable this year.

The report says average October-December unemployment reached 14.1 percent versus 13.9 percent in the previous quarter. Its seasonally adjusted figures are worse, measuring unemployment at a 17-year high of 14.8 percent in December.

Previous, less detailed reports had said unemployment peaked last year at 13.6 percent.