Ireland's unemployment rate rises to 14.4 percent

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2011 8:58 AM
Ireland's unemployment rate rises to 14.4 percent

Ireland says its unemployment rate has risen to 14.4 percent with more than 430,000 people claiming welfare for joblessness.

The Central Statistics Office says in a report Thursday that unemployment edged up last month from the previous rate of 14.3 percent. That is third highest in the 17-nation eurozone next to Spain and Estonia.

Business leaders are pleading with the government to unveil jobs-creation projects, particularly labor market reforms, as part of its next budget being unveiled Dec. 6.

Ireland is midway through a planned 2009-2015 austerity push triggered by a crippling bank-bailout program. It is committed to pruning more than euro3.5 billion ($5 billion) from its 2012 deficit under terms of last year's EU-IMF bailout agreement.